Jax Beach City Council Settles Union Dispute | News

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Jax Beach City Council Settles Union Dispute
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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Jax Beach City Council members stepped in Monday to settle a contract dispute between the city and the firefighters union. 

It was a hard fought battle on both sides, with this matter dragging out for more than a year, but in the end, the city council sided with the city in the contract dispute.

The union was asking for more control over the management at their stations, a lower deductible on their health insurance, and the right to exercise at a gym on shift when they're not out on a call.

The city argued that financially, they need firefighters to contribute more to health insurance, and that working out in a local gym would not send the right message to residents.

After about an hour and a half of hearing arguments on both sides, the city council voted unanimously in favor of the city, and left a number of firefighters disappointed after the meeting.

"Every part of the city makes up Jacksonville Beach, but with the fire department it's like they're a dictatorship. They don't want to work with us. They just want to impose things on us," said Union President Lance Sparrow.

The union membership will now have to vote on the parts of the contract that were not part of the impasse hearing. The biggest on that agenda? Salaries.

If the membership votes that part of it down, they could be right back to the drawing board.

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