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Volusia County approves a three-year bargaining agreement with Beach Safety Union.

Wed, Dec 15, 2021 at 10:20AM

Written by Anthony Bicy

Belden Communications News

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Volusia County and the union representatives for County beach safety specialists, senior lifeguards, and lifeguard supervisors, have agreed on a new, three-year contract.

According to a release, the Volusia County Council approved an agreement Tuesday with the International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO, featuring pay raises and a new retention bonus program for covered employees. Both sides of the bargaining table seemed equally pleased with the new agreement, which employees covered by the union ratified on a vote of 40-3, before bringing the agreement to council.

County Councilmembers approved a similar contract with the Corrections union last month.

“A lot of hard work has gone into reaching this agreement,” Beach Safety Director Andy Ethridge told the council. “In a time when many law enforcement agencies across the nation are struggling to fill their ranks, I am happy to stand here today and tell you that it looks like going into the summer season, all of our full-time positions will be fully staffed. This contract is going to go a long way in helping me maintain that status.”

The new agreement covers the last fiscal year, replacing the previous contract. The new bargain will give covered employees a three percent raise for the past fiscal year and a four percent raise for the current fiscal year. The new minimum hourly pay will become $16.65 for beach safety specialists, $21.10 for senior lifeguards, and $25.51 for lifeguard supervisors.

"I am just really pleased to see this agreement come together, but to also know, the heart and commitment of the staff to get it done and to be there for your community,” said Councilwoman Barb Girtman.

In the last year of the agreement (2022 through 2023), officers will receive a three percent raise, or whatever the approved pay raise amount is for County employees, whichever is greater. However, this will not happen if the county council adopts a rollback millage rate. If commitment is broken, the County and union will re-negotiate the pay raise issue.

 

A one-time retention bonus will be available to covered employees, who will receive a $2,000 bonus after signing a two-year employment commitment. The new agreement expires on September 30, 2023.


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