Naples firefighters' union continues negotiating benefits with city

— Negotiations continued between the Naples firefighters' union and the city without much headway on Wednesday. The city presented their proposal, which included pension benefit reductions, increased health insurance costs for employees and the loss of some earned time off, called Kelly days, on Tuesday.

The initial reaction from union representatives was that they needed more information, but weren't pleased with the proposal.

The city was to compensate the firefighters with a 3 percent annual pay increase for more than a 3 percent increase in their work that would be caused by the removal of those Kelly days.

"In this economic environment, city council has no purpose in giving a raise just for giving a raise, but if it comes down to working more, yes," said Assistant City Manager Roger Reinke addressing Adam Nadelman, president of the Naples firefighters' union on Wednesday.

"To take a little bit more home is something to maybe make a bad situation more palatable," Reinke said.

The Kelly days had a higher value than 3 percent of the firefighters' annual income, Nadelman said.

"If you want to pay more for it we would consider it," he said.

The city's original proposal regarding losses in pension benefits and increases health insurance cost may require revisions or concessions before reaching an agreement on those issues. The current three-year contract expires Sept. 30. Reinke agreed to revise the city's current proposal before the two parties are expected to meet again at 9 a.m. Sept. 9 in City Hall.

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