Should firefighters get Veterans Day off?


News12 First at Five/ Nov. 7, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- The Firefighters Association is speaking out about Veteran's day and their pay. Most city employees will either be off or get holiday pay. Some firefighters are saying they're not and it's not fair.

Another paid holiday for most city employees is just a regular day of work for Richmond County Firefighters. "It's a touchy subject and it matters who you talk to about it," said Firefighters Association Member Michale Tomaszewski.

When the Sheriff's Department and 911 employees work on any of the 11 paid holidays, they receive time and a half for every hour worked. Some say that's not the case in the Fire Department.

"We are going to serve them on Veterans Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas," said Richmond County Fire chief Chris James.

Some firefighters are steaming, because they're not getting the extra holiday like other employees. Fire Chief Chris James says, they're already getting more time off than regular employees.

"They earned 112 holiday hours, but they were getting around 120," said Fire chief Chris James.

"I don't think we can have it addressed, before Veterans day next week," said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

Chief James says says it's all about the math. The commission only approved giving firefighters a certain amount of hours. Since they've added an extra holiday, the city must change the manual or advise him on what to do.

"I'm unaware of the math. It does appear that there is a difference," said Tomaszewski.

Meanwhile Chief James says if he gives them the extra day, he'll need more firefighters to keep the rest of Augusta safe.


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