Disney World firefighter union leader: ‘We just shot ourselves in the foot’

REEDY CREEK 4 (Large) (1)
Word got out about the Disney World firefighters' lucrative contract, a union leader told members.

Disney World’s firefighter union leader slammed his members for sharing their proposed contract, which he said is pressuring the new district administrator not to sign because other public officials are complaining about the lucrative deal.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot to the tune of millions of dollars that this agreement would have put into the pockets of our members,” Jon Shirey wrote his union members.

Shirey’s message, obtained by Florida Politics, comes amid an Associated Press report that Disney World firefighters are returning to the bargaining table with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Disney World firefighters, who had a contentious relationship with the old Reedy Creek Improvement District, have been staunch supporters of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ takeover of the Disney World governing district.

The two sides appeared to quickly reach a new contract deal. The district’s firefighters and first responders recently approved a three-year contract that would have bumped their minimum pay from $55,000 to $65,000, the AP reported, but the DeSantis-appointed board never took action to approve the new contract on its end.

The tourism board is scheduled to meet Wednesday and does not list the contract vote on the agenda.

Shirey complained union members had posted the contract on social media and leaked it to “every outlet they could find” which was putting pressure on new district administrator Glen Gilzean, who was hired last month.

“This contract got into the hands of city and county leaders across the state of Florida,” Shirey wrote. “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.”

Shirey went on to say, “If/when we come to some new agreement, don’t share it with your family, your friends, members of other departments, and definitely not randomly out on social media. DO NOT SHARE IT WITH ANYONE!!!!”

Shirey added he did not know when the district and the union would work out a contract but “I know it won’t be in June and we would be lucky to have it done by the July board meeting.”

The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Monday.

For years, the Disney World firefighters feuded with the Reedy Creek leaders and reached an impasse over the contract. The firefighters argued they were underpaid and understaffed to cover Disney World’s giant resort where millions stay at the hotels, visit the parks and go to Disney Springs every year.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Useless Fire Lackeys

    June 19, 2023 at 9:11 pm

    Fat Firefighters Gabbn n Blabbin 🔥🔥🔥🔥🧯🚒

  • Dangerous Qanon Men

    June 19, 2023 at 9:41 pm

    Most fires are set by kook-firefighters, fact

  • tom palmer

    June 19, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    Nowadays most of their calls are medical calls. Most of the firetraps burned down years ago. They are always complaining about pay even though they make pretty good wages, have generous pensions and can retire in their early 40s. The game is to bid up wages at the taxpayers’ expense.

  • Earl Pitts American

    June 20, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Good morning America,
    Where is the dook 4 brains RINO (politition or whoever) chiming in with the typical tired old worn out statement?
    “What is this “tired old statement”, Earl Pitts American?”
    “You already know”. said Earl Pitts American, so quit yanking my chain.
    But I’ll provide it for that one guy out there that dosent know very much at all below:
    “We love and totally support the “rank and file” insert LEO, FIREFIGHTER, FBI…ect…ect…here:______________”. “But the insert UNION, MANAGEMENT,…ect…ect…ect…here:_________”.
    Is “Totally Out Of Controll”.
    I, Earl Pitts American think its gone way too far to chime in with such tired old RINO statements any longer. The corruption percentage-wise runs too deep down into the “rank and file”.
    Stop it already RINO’s just stop it with your old worn out knee jerk lying @55 ” rank and file ” statements any time some stupid shizz like this goes down.
    The corruption in these orgizations has ran too deep, too long, and is 100% endorsed and supported gleefully with the “rank and file” union dues and the entire group top to bottom must be called out and held responsable. Its the only way to stop it. The idea that the “rank and file” are somehow held prisioner by a few lefty’s in management no longer rings true to the PUBLIC * HINT HINT Politicians: the PUBLIC are your VOTERS we voters are so over your “rank and file” leftist enabeling statements*.
    I, Earl Pitts American, hereby Pre-Chastize any and all RINO’s who vomet up the typical canned response about “The Rank And File” being all saintly and absolved of all blaim in whatever stupid thing their organization stepped in
    Stop it Just Stop it with your canned rank and file statements. They are one organization and every member must sholder blaim for the bad stuff as they should all receive kudos for the great stuff they do.
    Think Before You Vomit Up Your Rank And File Statement. You will be doing so under the powerful Pre-Chastizement of me, Earl Pitts American.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • TCV typical conservative voter

      June 20, 2023 at 8:47 am

      Good job calling them out for this Earl. Its especially annoying when rinos do it for the FBI these days.
      Thank you for saying what everyone is thinking but too shy to say, Gail

  • Charly

    June 20, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Thank you Earl Pitts, American. Unfortunately your point has gotten lost in your horrible spelling and punctuation skills.

    • Earl Pitts American

      June 20, 2023 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you Charly,
      But tread lightly on the spell checking as its usually what dook 4 brains leftys and RINO’s try to smack down fine God fearing American Patriots with when they have no other response.
      Don’t take it personally Charly as I, Earl Pitts American, and most true Patriots are uncustomed to spelling spanking from anyone other than our 9th grade English Teacher, Miss Grundy, who wore her hair up in a bun, sensable granny shoes, and was always pushing her glasses back up that constantly slid down her nose.
      Again Charley, I, Earl Pitts American, thank you but also want you to present a smooth online appearance to our fine Patriots reading your postings. And you loose 1/2 of your fire when you follow a complement with a dump such as “Oh and by the way: your spelling $ucks.
      Thanks again Charly,
      Earl Pitts “Lets Be Greater Together” American

      • breathtaken

        June 22, 2023 at 12:41 am

        Now, I don’t exactly know why. But it’s so fitting to read your posts in the voice of Macho Man Randy Savage

  • Bill Pollard

    June 20, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    Let this be a lesson. Rightwing extremists don’t support any sort of union. Unions should never look to DeSantis or Trump for help.

  • Rob Desantos

    June 20, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    “Disney World firefighters, who had a contentious relationship with the old Reedy Creek Improvement District, have been staunch supporters of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ takeover of the Disney World governing district.”
    …because they are an uneducated group that takes a partisan political position against their own better interests — like most Republicans!


    June 21, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Not all firefighters and/or EMT’s are members of the union that represents Central Florida Tourism Oversight District employees. Florida is a Right-to-Work state.

    The reality is throughout the United States many local police officers/sheriff deputies, firefighter’s and EMT’s (and some union locals) – along with the majority of airline pilots have been overwhelmingly supporting Republican’s and Republican candidates the last four cycles – and not specific or unique to the CFTOD district safety employees and their own local/state support of Republicans.


  • Dennis

    June 21, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    It sounds like he did it again if its not my way then its the wrong way so if the boot doesn’t fit let someone else try it and loose all that you gained.
    Remember Unions are Political Supporters so be carefull of what you ask for!

Comments are closed.


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