Jefferson Parish Firefighters Closer To Securing Raises

HARAHAN, LA (AP) — Jefferson Parish officials and the firefighters' union have overcome a major stumbling block in approving a new pay plan that would give raises to about 250 firefighters.

         Jefferson Parish President John Young recommended adopting the new plan at the council's June 10 meeting on Wednesday, multiple media outlets report.

         "We're happy that the parish president reached this conclusion," union leader Robert Burkett told The New Orleans Advocate’s Ramon Antonio Vargas. "The firefighter personnel is certainly deserving of the new pay plan, and we look forward to the opportunity for the council to review and adopt it."

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         Two weeks ago, the two parties reached an agreement on the majority of the pay plan. The agreement had been held up by a pending, union-initiated investigation into whether several parish employees who do firefighting work throughout Jefferson are properly classified. Young said he would not approve the plan until after the investigation.

         Even though the investigation is still underway, Young's administration says it had estimated how many positions the new pay plan would apply to and now felt comfortable recommending its adoption.

         Burkett said he didn't believe the investigation would produce any "dramatic" changes, but he acknowledged the new pay plan may ultimately be more expensive to the parish than first predicted.

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         Exact figures have not been provided, but the plan calls for a first-year firefighter's base pay to jump from about $22,950 to about $25,035, not counting state supplemental and guaranteed overtime compensation.

         For more information


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