by The Lad article When it comes to being a firefighter, you’ll likely never hear a firefighter’s name used more than in this one.
In a country where nearly half of the country’s firefighters are under the age of 30, that’s a tough call.
When a person is on the front line of a fire, they can be one of the most powerful forces for good and for harm.
But, they’re also among the most underpaid.
According to a recent study by the American Association of Firefighters, firefighters are one of only two occupations with wages that average less than $25,000 per year, the lowest of any career.
“There are fewer firefighters in the United States than at any point in history,” said Michael Sussman, president of the National Association of Federal Fire Fighters.
“We are the only profession that has seen a dramatic increase in pay.”
The reason for this is simple: The federal government has been cutting jobs, while state and local governments have been raising salaries.
The federal Firefighter Retirement System, the union’s chief financial officer, says it is the most expensive job in the country.
As a result, the average federal firefighter is earning about $60,000 a year, well below the $90,000 average of all occupations, according to a new study from the union.
“The federal Fire Service is a highly profitable industry, and we’re not getting paid for that,” Sussmann said.
“They want to make a quick buck, and it’s not fair to firefighters who are making so much.”
In the years since the Great Recession, the federal government increased the average annual salary of a firefighter from $30,000 to $35,000.
But Sussmans union believes the federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.
“That would be the same as the federal $15 minimum wage,” Sommers said.
But with this proposed increase, he said, the government will still be paying a firefighter less than the national average.
“I would be happy if it went up to $20, but I think that’s not going to happen.”
Susserman said the proposed increase will help pay for increased pensions and other benefits for firefighters.
“As the federal retirement system gets funded, we’ll need more and more firefighter paychecks,” he said.
The proposal to raise the minimum wage was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House for consideration.
“This is not a tax hike, and the average American worker will be paying the same amount of tax that they are paying now,” Suddonsaid.
But the proposal comes at a time when the federal Firefighters Association says that, as a result of sequestration, the Fire Service has had to cut back on the number of firefighters it has on the payroll.
“It’s a devastating blow,” said Jim Cone, president and CEO of the Firefighters Union of the District of Columbia.
Sommer agreed. “
What we need is a fair wage increase that includes a tax cut.”
“Our members are in the middle of a very difficult time,” he added.
“A lot of them have lost their jobs.
They’ve lost their homes.
Sudders union is not the only one concerned about the proposed raise. “
If they can’t get a fair raise and they can get a wage increase, that would help them get through this recession.”
Sudders union is not the only one concerned about the proposed raise.
Other union members are pushing for a federal minimum-wage hike, which they say would create more jobs for firefighters and reduce the pressure on firefighters’ retirement funds.
But Cone said the Fire Fire Service should not get any special treatment.
“You should not be the one paying for the Fire Force,” he insisted.
“Folks who do the job should not have to be the ones who get the paychecks.”
And Sussmen said he thinks the current union leadership is just following the lead of the federal union.