City Government

Firefighters-City Approve Contract

In an agreement lauded by Mayor Dave Bieter and his “Team Dave”, Boise City and the firefighters union have come to terms over labor negotiations.
fire truck.jpg

Bieter has not taken a raise since he was elected two and a half years ago. His salary is $91,229 a year. If he wants to make big bucks he should get on the fire department where top managers make up to seven grand more than the mayor.

Last week both the union and city council approved a pay schedule that offers starting firefighters what union president Tom Lovell calls “wages and benefits adequate to support members.”

We haven’t seen any substantive reports in the main stream media, but there is little doubt the current fire budget of $31.7 million budget will be bumped up to cover 3% annual wage hikes and increased benefits.

Starting firefighters are paid $38,412 annually and senior firefighter drivers top out at $55,764.

Captains–the guys who ride shotgun on the truck and generally boss the three man crews–make between $62,280 and $64, 416 a year.

Battalion Chiefs generally are in charge of half of the men and stations during any shift. They are management supervisors and decision makers, but according to the contract they belong to the same union as those they supervise and make $68,856.

The fire chief salary is $95,016. There are four deputy chiefs with salaries ranging from $94, 716 to $97632. One of the deputies makes more than his boss the chief.

The GUARDIAN offers up the fact on this one and makes no judgments.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. I always thought it was slightly odd that of state employees the Governor’s salary was way down on the list beaten out mostly by Deans and professors at the U of I, the President of which was the highest paid state employee. Kempthorne rectified that somewhat but the Governor is still not the highest paid state employee and I’m not sure he should be. The current Governor seems to really like the job and professes to not need the money and I suppose we should recognize that the allure of the job is not always pecuniary. Also using a politician’s salary as a baseline for professionals in government diminshes the value of those professionals.

  2. I’m not sure what the Governor’s and U president’s salaries have to do with the price of fire hose, but as for the folks on the red trucks:
    I’d say chop the top bosses’ salaries down to some sane amount and spread those extra bucks among the men and women who actually get down off the truck and run into burning houses to try to save the lives of the people inside, who put their lives in danger every time they climb a ladder to the roof of a flaming structure, who move up closer to get the spray where it needs to go without knowing what’s inside that might explode at any moment, who come barreling along to the scene of a traffic accident or heart attack or gunshot wound or anyplace else that someone might need help in a hurry.

    I’ve never understood the logic — in businesses, police agencies, governments, fire departments or anywhere else of giving the least money to the people who actually do the jobs, and the most money to the people who just oversee the ones doing the work.

  3. When I see 500 people apply for a couple of Fire dept jobs that come available. I have to wonder? Are we paying them to much? $38,412 Oh ya don’t forget medical, retirment. Goverment jobs are the only ones that offer the benifits, and what does that come to?

  4. Robert,
    Keep wondering. More taxpayers should. I agree that Firefighters are real life heroes in workclothes. They also get a myriad of benefits, with real dollar value attached, the name of which most in the workaday world would not even recognize. Kelly days, Book time, regular duty trades, comp time buy out, etc. Add to that: Orthodontia; great health, dental, vision; medical savings accounts; a top notch retirement plan; a 24 on 48 off schedule and overtime for anything beyond their shift. Most are able to have second full time jobs. It was once estimated that the average firefighter actually works 7 days per month. Not a bad deal and surely one that at least 500 people for each vacancy might find lucrative.

    Before I get lambasted by firefighters I want to make it clear that I am not an advocate for taking away. I understand that many of these benefits are standard to the occupation and well deserved by men and women who work very hard often sacrificing their own safety for that of others.

    I do however think that taxpayers have the right to know the whole story. One that doesn’t make it to press very often.

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