Appreciation extended to city Firefighters’ Union #2836

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Lloyd Anderson stands in front of Fernandina Fire Station # 2 with fellow union members

Susan Hardee Steger

City Manager Joe Gerrity is breathing a sigh of relief since Firefighters Union Local #2836 agreed to forgo pay and cost of living raises. In a bold move,  Gerrity’s budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 eliminated pay raises and cost of living raises for all employees prior to agreements with the firefighters’ union and the UBC union (negotiations continue with UBC).

“During good times the city treated us good. In bad times we need to help,” says Lloyd Anderson, union president.   The partnership between the City of Fernandina Beach and the union has been positive over the years.  “We expect fairness, not a constant battle” when dealing with various employment issues.  In return for union concessions members expect “ the city to negotiate in good faith.”

Anderson who is in his fourth year as union president, is a 20 year retired Navy man and a Florida transplant from New  York, NY.  He arrived in north Florida in 1992, attended college to study fire and rescue, came to Fernandina Beach in 1999 where he moved through the ranks to his current position of Lieutenant in 2011.  He is proud of his fellow union members who during tough financial times overwhelmingly (over 90%) supported the new agreement.  Anderson admitted, “This is the worst budget year I have ever seen.”

The 28 member union began in  1981 with goals to have safe living and working conditions, to be treated fairly when employment issues arise, and to be paid fairly.  Captain Spicer and Captain Scott were instrumental in the formation of the union.

When asked about Fernandina firefighters’ salaries compared to Jacksonville, Anderson said  Jacksonville firefighters’ salaries are 10 to 20 thousand higher depending upon classification than Fernandina Beach firefighters.  Anderson commutes to Fernandina Beach from Jacksonville.

Firefighter-Rescue Hat being worn in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Along with the union’s willingness to work with the city, comes a willingness to raise community awareness and support for various programs throughout the year.  This month firefighters are wearing hats with pink ribbons in support of breast cancer awareness.

At last Tuesday’s city commission meeting, Chief Daniel Hanes and commissioners thanked the firefighters’ union for their support.  Gerrity extended his appreciation by saying,  “They stepped up to the plate when we needed them.”


October 6, 2012 10:15 a.m.