Juneau Firefighters to Get Additional Money

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - There was a short Special Assembly meeting held on Monday night to quickly address two items.

    Both items were approved as suggested. Waste pipes that cross the Mendenhall River led to the request of a supplemental agreement to install a second river crossing near the Kaiser Pumping Station. That supplemental agreement will be given to ENCO Alaska unless there is a disagreement from the Public Works and Facilities Committee.

    Firefighters will also be getting a 2% wage increase, retention of incentive bonuses, and an adjustment to the wage rate for captains as an agreement and economic reopener between CBJ and the International Association of Fire Fighters. The total cost is estimated to be around $204,000 with no adjustments to general operating terms due to it being an economic reopener. The resolution was adopted.

    Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto spoke to us after the meeting where he said that this increase will help, but they could always use more resources.

    “Firefighters have been behind on the wages for years and getting a 2% now is going to benefit them in the long run. We can try to get them as much as we can, but 2% is a pretty good opener for right now, but we’re still a long way for the firefighters to get there.”

    They have been having trouble keeping firefighters in Juneau.

    “We are pretty low on the wages so we have firefighters leaving Juneau for other fire departments. We’re losing personnel along with we are short staffed. Fortunately, the Assembly has approved six additional personnel, so we’re just barely catching our breath right now. This 2% is going to help us a little bit.”

    Recruitment efforts are also coming up short.

    “Not the best. I’ve also talked with other fire departments and they’re facing the same problem. Not everybody is applying for the greatest job in the world.” 

    Regardless of tough times for the department, Quinto wanted to express his thanks to the support shown by the community.

    “I think it’s great for the public and the Assembly to support us in everything we’re doing right now. We’re still doing our calls with multiple calls every day, so hopefully, with six more personnel we’ll catch up at least a little bit.” 

     

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