Firefighters say they have little to show for their years of hard work, despite rising costs and more stringent safety rules.
They are also calling on lawmakers to reinstate pay for firefighters.
Some lawmakers have introduced bills that would raise pay to $50,000 from $33,000, which is the current level, and a few lawmakers have pushed to extend pay to as high as $70,000.
“I’m tired of hearing that we’re not making enough money.
We’re not paying enough.
We have a budget shortfall, we’ve had a hard year,” said fire chief Robert Smith, who is not eligible for overtime pay.
In a letter to lawmakers last month, the Fire Fighters Association said firefighters should be compensated at the same level as other federal workers.
It also noted that firefighters are paid based on years of service and not on their rank or the number of days they’ve been on the job.
“This is a fact.
This is a reality.
It’s not a question of whether or not the pay is adequate.
This has been proven over and over again,” said Mark Danko, the union’s executive director.
He said firefighters deserve pay for the hard work they put into the job and the increased training and supervision they receive.
He called the union an employer-led, not a union-driven organization, adding that it does not require its members to meet certain qualifications.
But the Firefighters Association said the current pay system, which pays firefighters less than other workers, is unfair and unfair to the public.
The group also said firefighters are underpaid compared with other federal employees and should be paid more.
“Our members are doing the best they can to keep their jobs and make the best money they can,” said Dankos.
“But they are not getting a fair share of the money.”