HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Several months after requests were made by the Hattiesburg City Council to Mayor Johnny DuPree to update employee pay scales, the request has been fulfilled.
The pay scales are included in a city ordinance, referred to by many as the HAVPAY ordinance, and the most up-to-date scales dated back to 2008 before the mayor's most recent update last week.
Some Hattiesburg firemen, both current and retired, have publicly voiced discontent with the pay scales, claiming they have not been paid correctly, even under the outdated pay scales. One fireman, Terry Lawson, addressed the city council Monday night, claiming he was owed approximately $30,000 from lack of career development or promotional monies.
Lawson previously addressed the Civil Service Board, which represented police and firemen, on the same issue. Board members admitted they did not know what the correct pay scale was, although the city's HR Director, Gena Hopkins, said the civil service employees were being paid correctly.
Hattiesburg City Clerk Kermas Eaton said in Monday night's city council agenda setting that the updated attachments were correct. The updates included an approximate $5,000 dollar increase for all starting salaries for police and firemen, compared to the 2008 scales.
The city council tabled the vote to approve the updated scales, seeking assurance they include accurate information.