Naples firefighters want to keep their Kelly days.
Union representatives this week put a proposal forward that would allow them to keep their Kelly days — earned time off firefighters can take every six weeks — and keep staffing at appropriate levels.
Naples officials met with the union representing the city's firefighters on Tuesday as part of contract negotiations. The union's three-year contract expires Sept. 30.
Adam Nadelman, the union president, said the union was proposing a three-year contract that would "keep everything the way it is" and fill a vacant position on Engine 1 with overtime instead of hiring new firefighters.
On days where three firefighters — “the maximum allowed off on any given day” — have scheduled off, a firefighter would be scheduled on overtime to work on Engine 1, according to the proposal.
There are about 205 days a year where overtime would need to be charged to be at full staffing levels.
While overtime comes at a cost of about $172,000 a year, Nadelman said it saves money in the long run because it doesn't factor in to pension calculations.
"We're trying to think of something different," Nadelman said.
But Nadelman said for this proposal to work, the city would need to keep Kelly days. City officials in August proposed cuts to pension benefits, increased insurance costs and the elimination of Kelly days.
The city also proposed a 3 percent pay increase to compensate for the loss of the Kelly day.
Roger Reinke, Naples’ assistant city manager and labor relations manager, said while there was some discussion about a 5 percent annual increase, the city's official offer still stands at 3 percent.
"It is a creative way to look at staffing and trying to accomplish the things we wanted to accomplish," Reinke said.
Neither side addressed pension or health insurance during Tuesday's meeting.
A meeting has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Oct. 6 to continue negotiations. Reinke said the city would likely come to the table with a comprehensive proposal at that time.