Following the 2018 general elections, the residents of Frederick County, Maryland voted to amend the county’s charter, allowing career firefighters employed by the county to use collective bargaining when it comes to terms of employment through the moderation of a third party.
“Which gives the Frederick County career firefighters a voice at the table, to have a say in the future of public safety here in Frederick County when it comes to wages, benefits, working conditions,” said Billy Rossomondo, vice president of the Frederick County Career Firefighters Local 3666.
Rossomondo says that as opposed to previous years, this change would allow career firefighters to have a platform when it came to decision making.
“It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it deal that we’ve often experienced in the past,” said Rossomondo, “not just in County Executive Gardner’s term, but in other terms as well.”
And moving forward with this change, Council Member Jessica Fitzwater proposed putting together a “fact-finding” committee composed of members of the Local 3666, representatives from the County, and an elected officer from volunteer fire and rescue association — A group that previously voiced concerns as the charter amendment would not affect volunteer firefighters.
“There was some concern that they wanted to be a part of that discussion, to make sure that it didn’t overstep into something that’s really their property rights or their association’s property or their association’s decisions,” said Fitzwater.
Following a discussion at the county council workshop, council members agreed to let Fitzwater move forward with the committee.