Outside parties get involved with pay concerns for Hattiesburg firemen

Outside parties get involved with pay concerns for Hattiesburg firemen

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Several months after addressing their concerns with pay scales, a group of Hattiesburg firemen continues to wait for answers.

A presentation by a wage investigator was expected at Monday's Hattiesburg City Council agenda setting, but the presentation was pushed back. City Clerk Kermas Eaton said the investigator, who is reviewing the city's employee pay scales from the last several years, is waiting on Hattiesburg Fire Chief Paul Presley to provide the procedural manual that shows the steps for firemen to receive incentive pay.

Eaton said he hoped that presentation of the review's findings would be made at the next council meeting on Aug. 17.

Meanwhile, a man from Memphis has been doing his own review of the pay scales, particularly for firemen.

Danny Todd, vice president of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), said he is concerned with outdated pay scales, which he said had not been updated since 2008.

"It appears that a large majority of the fire department, if not all, are not being paid in accordance with the 2008 pay scale," Todd said.

Todd said he was asked by the Hattiesburg IAFF chapter to look into the pay scales, which some firemen have publicly said caused them to lose thousands of dollars in pay over the years. He said the work he was doing was part of what IAFF provides to their local chapters.

Todd encouraged the council in Monday's Citizens Forum to look closely at the updates to the pay scale that were tabled last month, otherwise, a lack of change to the scales may cause firefighters to find work elsewhere.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the updated pay scales Tuesday, although it is likely to be tabled until after the third party review is presented.