Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters Local 1563 celebrates a huge victory today! Last night’s binding arbitration decision helps our dedicated men and women get closer to pay equality with our surrounding jurisdictions. However, our work is not done! Thanks to our members’ financial support and countless hours of work, we were able to fight the continued shortfall in our department’s budget by Anne Arundel County. The arbitration decision finalizes months of negotiations for a long overdue three percent step increase for years of service in rank. While this decision brings us closer to competing with surrounding jurisdictions’ pay, we are still among the lowest paid firefighters in the metropolitan Washington and Baltimore areas. We will continue to lose firefighter personnel to higher wages just across county lines. Today’s victory is a big victory in our continuing battle, but we still have a wage war to win if we are to one day become the jurisdiction that the best and most experienced firefighters compete for positions. Fortunately, Local 1563 and our supporters were able to invest thousands of dollars in the past two years in legal fees fighting for our personnel. Other public safety unions are not as fortunate. Based on our negotiations and track record with the current County Administration, we have a long fight ahead of us for years to come. But today, we will celebrate a big win for the men and women of Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters.