Firemens, buddies & family rally downtown Asheville, NC for pay equity – NewsChannel 3-12 – KEYT

13September 2020

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ASHEVILLE, NC (WLOS)– Rain didn’t stop members of the neighborhood from coming out to support the Asheville Fire Fighters Association’s defend higher and fair pay over the weekend.

On Sept. 12, members of the association, friends and family gathered in Pack Square, holding signs, asking the city for higher wages.

In numerous social media posts, the association says Asheville City board voted to pay city employees $15 per hour earlier in 2020. They state that choice excluded 77 firefighters who still make less than $15 per hour.

Scott Mullins, the association’s president, says the $11.65 an hour firemens make is inadequate for the work they do.

“Councils states they value the work that we do however their budget states otherwise,” Mullins informed News 13 on Saturday. “So when we look at their budget it shows us they do not value the actual work we firemens do.”

He states this has been an ongoing issue and they have actually reached out to city board to support their pay equity initiative.

“Your Asheville Fire Fighters put their lives on the line every day for the neighborhood and be worthy of pay equity with other City of Asheville workers,” the association wrote in a social media post.In August, the firefighter’s association gotten in touch with neighborhood members to advise city authorities to raise their earnings.

City authorities have said the work and job responsibilities of a firefighter can not compare to other city staff members.

Peggy Rowe, Unique Assistant/HR to the City Supervisor issued the following declaration in August:

“As a company, the City of Asheville values its employees by paying living incomes and using benefits that guarantee both security and opportunity. As part of an overall compensation study, the Archer Company was asked to assist the City of Asheville to provide recommendations on moving all City workers to a minimum yearly salary of $31,200. This is the equivalent of $15 per hour for a 40 hour work week. Employees making less than this yearly wage were moved to this quantity toward the end of last based on these recommendations.”

“No firefighter in the City of Asheville makes less than this yearly amount. A Firemen Student presently begins his/her profession with the City at $32,630.52 annually. After 6 months when the training is total, the firefighter gets a raise to $33,935.72 every year.”

“The total settlement research study will provide information on firemen salaries relative to market, along with wages of other positions within the City. When the research study is finalized factors to consider can be made as to how and when to move on with application of the expert’s recommendations. Offered the uncertainty of the budget plan, we do not expect to progress with the application throughout this fiscal year. We expect the specialist’s report to be final early in the fall.”

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