JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- After 20 years with JEA, Albert Fason retired in January 2012.
"JEA was a good company to work for," said Fason. "But I think what's happening is the JEA is a corporation and corporations do not give up anything."
Fason said while he was working, there was a dispute between the JEA and the City over who had the authority to implement a contract with a 3 percent raise.
"Our CEO (Jim) Dickenson tried to convince them that JEA employees should get the raise. It didn't work out so they denied the raise," he said.
But it was not over. The five unions representing JEA employees filed an unfair labor practice charge and in October 2012, it was settled. JEA had the right to implement the contract, not the city.
"The JEA paid all current employees a 3 percent pay raise for the fiscal year 2012 starting October 1, 2011 through October 1, 2012," said Fason.
But the retirees were left out. Fason said he and the other retirees should be compensate for the period before their retirement.
"Quite a few employees do not know that this has happened," he said.
Fason made an argument to the JEA and was told he's no longer part of the union and not entitled to the pay raise.
"We were represented by the union up until we retire and we were employees in that settlement year until we retired," said Fason.
Fason said the JEA was a good employer but it is being unfair. He is ready to take the issue to court. He wants JEA to change its posture.
"Provide redress for retirees who were on board during that settlement period," said Fason.
"I feel for these guys," said IBEW Local 5238 President Rodney Wickham.
Wickham said he has been trying to resolve the issue on a contract that was approved in 2010 by the union and the JEA board.
"I think he (Fason) has a valid point. He was there, he was working," said Wickham.
Wickham said he received an official response from JEA's CEO and it was not in the workers favor.
It said in part:
"Those that left prior to October 22, 2012 (the effective date of the new contract) will be covered by the contract terms at that time and will not receive additional monies."
First Coast News