City, firefighters’ union at impasse regarding pay plan (VIDEO)

hays ks logoBy BECKY KISER 
Hays Post

The city of Hays is at impasse with the International Association of Fire Fighters union regarding wages.

IAFF, which represents 18 Hays firefighters, is proposing pay increases of 5 percent for firefighters and 7 percent for fire lieutenants — a collective increase of $47,500. IAFF also wants to increase both groups’ maximum earning potential by 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

According to Assistant Hays City Manager Paul Briseno, the city has proposed a one-time 2 percent bonus for firefighters, a total of $17,500 in 2015.

The two other employee unions, SEIU Local No. 513 and Fraternal Order of Police, representing about 78 employees, have tentatively agreed to the city’s proposal. All non-union employees also would receive the same 2 percent one-time bonus. The estimated expense in 2015 for all city employees, union and non-union, is projected between $112,000 and $120,000.

Briseno said Hays firefighters have received a pay increase every year since 1989, with the exception of 2011, when city sales tax revenues were flagging.

IAFF Logo“We have to live within our means and react to the local economy, and right now the local economy is down when it comes to sales tax,” Briseno said. “We appreciate these firefighters’ service and dedication to the community, as we do all our employees. However, the IAFF pay increase proposal is not sustainable”:

Briseno added the city has a “cushion built up for a one-time bonus for all employees” because of “good budgeting.”

The two groups have been meeting since March. The next step in the IAFF contract process is making a mediation request through the Kansas Public Employee Relations Board.

The city of Hays has a total of 181 employees.

  • Yahooserious

    Where the right on this article? No one can stand a teachers union (teachers do something everyday they work) but oh no; It’s the firefighters union. they need unions to keep those sliding poles greased and get them new comfortable cots to sleep in when there are no fires. Amazing how people pick and choose.

    • guest

      You are a total’d be the type that demands police and fire are at your beck and call but have no desire to pay them for their services.. compared to other towns this size..these people are overworked and underpaid.. not to mention having to deal with a rotton public and scum like Toby Daugherty for a boss..

      • Yahooserious

        Uh, I do pay them; It’s called taxes. Yet I don’t ever use their services. Strange. As for calling me a moron. I’ve been to the EMS, police station and fire dept. not a lot going on there when it’s not midnight. I agree. Police put up with the scum of human beings more than any. Doesn’t mean I praise them. They chose that line of work; they can deal with it right? That being said, I do support unions. Not all but some.

      • passin_threw

        Overworked? That’s ridiculous, if they really were overworked they wouldn’t all have the energy to have second jobs with the amount of time they have away from their fulltime job since they get paid to sleep.

        • Support Your Firefighters!

          Seriously!!??? Obviously if they have second jobs it’s because they don’t make enough with the first job! No one takes a second job for the heck of it – it’s because they need the money to pay the bills! I highly doubt these employees with families like being away from their children all the time. Why don’t you participate in the citizen ride-a-long if you believe they do absolutely nothing all day! These men may not risk their lives everyday but when there is a fire (and there has been) they’re the ones in the building putting it out, not you who are “passin-threw”.

          • alexander

            Firefighters are awesome!

            Ignore passin_threw, he is a psychotic lunatic of limited intelligence.

            Firefighters should make at least twice as much as any State Legislator.

          • passin_threw

            When did I say they weren’t underpaid and didn’t do a great job? I just said they aren’t overworked. Nice spin on it

  • WeeTodd

    “We have to live within our means and react to the local economy, and right now the local economy is down when it comes to sales tax,” Briseno said.

    I guess “Living within our means” does not apply when they are wanting to build bike paths and all other kinds of useless things that we don’t need.

    • KSUboy

      because bikers pay taxes too. if you get a road I can have a bike path.

      • A_citizen_patriot

        Last time I checked bicycles don’t use gas so they don’t pay the tax to maintain the road.

        • KSUboy

          i was just making a joke out of it citizen.

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Ah ok, my mistake

        • alexander

          Nobody who owns a bicycle also owns a car.

          • A_citizen_patriot

            Really?! I never knew that.

          • ZMan

            I do. And I also pay property taxes.

  • taxpayers-forever

    there is no major support for unions in this town. never has been a union town. the fire, police and teachers unions can’t strike anyway. they have no bargaining chips. wait till the school board gets done with the teachers union in negotiations. and i’m not saying they are bad or good. but in this town, without the power to strike, they are weak.

    • Taxpayer also

      If you’re not willing to say if our school board is good or bad, then I will. They are bad. They are inept. They have made very poor decisions. I’ll exclude the newest member since she has only been there for a month or so.

  • commoner

    How much does a firefighter make a year to do that job? How much is a 5% increase to him? Why in this article does the IAFF have no representation?

  • ddd

    Why 7% for lieutenants? Are they better than the others?

    • d

      What does earning potential mean?

  • taxed to the max

    We pay out over $ 500,000 each year to outside agencies and also pay the wages and benefits of the people that manage them. Cleaning out the CVB at 27th & Vine would save us million$! Enough is enough of these economic gurus! I rather give to people that actually work.

  • Yahooserious

    I know they work. I was being sarcastic about the teachers union that was soooo criticized before on I was in the military. I know what it’s like to wear MOPP(mission oriented protective posture) gear (it’s charcoal lined for NBC attacks) in 130 degree heat. It was sarcasm. I know what it means to dig fox holes in the same temp. Didn’t mean to offend. Just saying. But really, as a public servant in the army I wasn’t graced by a union. I just dealt with what came my way.

  • Not impressed

    I’d like to see an outline for the wages of all city employees. I wonder how many upper level city staff (with comfy office chairs and regular working hours) get paid more than public servants of the community. A raise every year since 1989? Can you put a number to that instead of just Briseno’s positive PR spin? Also, it’s funny to hear him say we need to live within our means, when the city has obviously been the beacon of responsible spending in years past…..

    • Pay

      Aren’t their wages also public information? Not sure of the link if they are. I’m also curious about the raises every year and bonuses. If it shows they are getting 25k a year, then yeah, I’m for the extra money. If it shows they are making say 50k, then I’m more of the attitude that times are tough now and we need to buckle down on the raises and bonuses.

  • frrreal dude?

    I think that the ‘paid to sleep’ argument is an ignorant one. They work 24 hours. They are allowed some sleep time. Do they ever sleep all night? I doubt it. Can you work 24 straight hours? I doubt it.