Report: Disney World Firefighter Union President Angry About Leaks & Renegotiating Contract, “We Just Shot Ourselves in the Foot”

A report from Florida Politics details the blowback of an AP report that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District firefighters will have to return to the bargaining table after District Administrator Glenton Gilzean was forced to renegotiate their contract.

Firefighter union president Jon Shirey reportedly sent a message to members saying that the firefighters “just shot ourselves in the foot” after leaking details of a lucrative contract following the installation of a DeSantis-picked Board. The Reedy Creek firefighters were essentially the public face of DeSantis’ retaliatory seizure of the Walt Disney World taxing district. DeSantis held a signing flanked by firefighters as he took control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The firefighters were not happy with the RCID Board at the time and were working on an expired contract. DeSantis spoke in support of the firefighters and negotiations with DeSantis’ newly installed Board of Supervisors led to a very, very lucrative pay bump following weeks of negotiations and public comments from Shirey in support of the controversial new Board of Supervisors.

Minimum pay was expected to rise to $65,000 – a figure roughly $10,000 higher than the Florida annual mean wage provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pay bump would’ve been worth millions to the firefighters, but Shirey said that once the details leaked, Gilzean began receiving calls from local leaders saying that he couldn’t sign the sweetheart deal:

This contract got into the hands of city and county leaders across the state of Florida. Glen had been receiving calls left and right yelling at him that he couldn’t sign this agreement, and how it was going to screw all of the taxpayers in those areas bc they would have to raise taxes just to be able to recruit and stay even somewhat competitive with the new market.

Jon Shirey, CFTOD Firefighters union president

Now, Shirey says that the union “would be lucky” to have a new agreement by July.

The next meeting of the CFTOD Board of Supervisors is tomorrow, June 21st and there is no time allotted for the negotiation of a new contract, according to the meeting agenda.

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