Doing a dis-service
The Sebring city council has done a terrible injustice to the employees and citizens by cutting benefits to the firefighters, and by changing the benefits package of those employees who are not yet vested.
These employees were hired with specific benefits, in writing, and trusted that the contract given them would be honored.
Now you've decided that you didn't really mean what you said? When you, as a businessman, hire any employee, do you change what you offered them upon employment after they've worked for you, maybe for several years?
My guess is that you wouldn't consider doing that unless it meant adding something to the package. I do understand economics, so if changes need to be made, start with new hires. Sage advice would be “don't change the rules in the middle of the game.”
One of the main arguments for this action was that other businesses do not offer similar benefits.
Other businesses cannot be compared to any public service position. Mr. Businessman, how many times in your entire career have risked your life for your customer?
How often have you stood on the highway to aid a traffic accident victim or given CPR to a heart attack victim who might just happen to be a friend, and then tried to sleep that night?
Have you ever been atop a tanker filled with flammable materials, desperately hoping to put out the fire before it blows and takes the school next door with it?
Have you ever tried to save a SIDS baby or search for a frightened child in a burning building? My guess is that the most chilling experience you've ever had is calming a disgruntled employee or patron...not a life changing moment in all of your years.
The job that a firefighter does is extremely physical. Staying at that job past 50 years of age is very risky. Cutting benefits means that these employees have to retain their employment beyond safe limits.
Our firefighters, police officers and paramedics face potentially life-threatening situations every time the uniform is donned. To compare what they do to a business is ridiculous, and shows that you truly do not care about the people that you employ.