Stalled contract jeopardizes relations between new Disney governing body, firefighters

June 18, 2023  -ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — After appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took over Walt Disney World’s governing district earlier this year, its firefighters were among the few employees who publicly welcomed them with open arms.

But that warm relationship is in jeopardy as a new district administrator has reopened negotiations on a contract that was approved last month by the unionized firefighters, promising pay raises and more manpower.

A vote on the contract originally was targeted for last month during a meeting of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board of supervisors but it was never brought up, and it did not appear on an agenda released ahead of the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Under the three-year contract proposal overwhelmingly approved by 200 firefighters and first responders, annual starting pay for firefighters would increase to $65,000, up from $55,000. It also promised hiring up to three dozen firefighters and paramedics.

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