Homewood firefighters hoping for cost of living adjustment in next city budget
HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Homewood is expected to lay out a new budget within the next few months and the Homewood Firefighters Association is hoping it includes a raise for first responders.
“Guys are having to work two jobs just to pay bills right now,” President of Homewood Firefighters Association Local 1288 Mark Robison said. “Homewood Fire Department has received 11.8% in cost of living adjustment since 2007. The last three years alone, inflation is 17.5%, but Homewood has only gotten a 1% cost of living adjustment.”
Robison said they’ve seen 30 employees leave in the last two years, some retired, but others went to other cities in the county that pay more.
“We had a guy that’s been with Homewood over 10 years leave and go to Tarrant,” he said. “Tarrant receive a 20 percent cost of living this year.”
He said they are working with the mayor and the city to improve rates by asking for three big changes. They want cost of living adjustments, shifting the pay cycle, and changes to insurance premiums. Robison said they were able to change the pay cycle, which has helped.
“13 shifts down to nine shifts changes your pay cycle a bit, but its given the guys about three to four more paid days off per year,” he said.
But, even with a few more days off during the year, Robison said if the city doesn’t keep up with inflation, they could lose more staff.
“I have already had nine or ten guys come to me and say if it doesn’t change this year, they are leaving,” Robison said. “The guys just want to feel appreciated.”
Robison said the Mayor and the city are expected to start looking at the budget soon, but until changes are made, he said Homewood ranks ninth in the county for firefighter pay.
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