Following more than two months of intense, flame-throwing debate about drug testing, pay plan and sick leave, it appears the Jefferson Parish administration and the Fire Fighters Association have settled their differences. At tomorrows Jefferson Parish Council meeting, the council will take up the agreed-upon changes for firefighters in the parish.
In terms of pay, the biggest issue at stake has been scheduled overtime firefighters receive as part of their pay package. Jefferson Parish officials wanted to reduce overtime, which would result in a 20 percent decrease in the average firefighters annual income. The firefighters initially balked at this idea, but according to a press release sent by the The Ehrhardt Group, a pr firm that has been representing the parish in its public relations battle with the firefighters, reports, firefighters have apparently agreed to a work schedule that significantly reduces scheduled overtime. Additionally, annual raises have been reduced from 5 percent to 2 percent. No other details are offered in terms of what the firefighters will receive in return for these concessions.
The two sides had also fought over drug testing, but firefighters have agreed to report to a parish-designated physician any drugs they are taking that could affect job performance. Additionally, injured firefighters can now be assigned to modified duty while they recover from their injuries, rather than simply staying at home.
Tomorrows Jefferson Parish Council meeting starts at 10 a.m. in Council Chambers, 2nd Floor Yenni Building, 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., Harahan, Louisiana.