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No pay raise for DC firefighters in six years. Mention of it by mayoral candidate sparks controversy.



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Sam Ford, WJLA-TV:

It’s been over six years since D.C. police and firefighters were given a raise, but the mere mention of a pay increase is sparking controversy. Specifically, it’s the timing of the proposal that has D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray upset.

At his news conference Wednesday, Gray all but accused Councilmember Tommy Wells of trying to buy the Police and Fire Union's endorsement in his mayoral bid by offering them unprecedented raises.

“It completely undermines our collective bargaining apparatus,” Mayor Gray said.

Well’s bill would give police and firefighters automatic cost-of-living increases tied to the Consumer Price Index so that their pay never falls behind inflation.

“So this is a way for us to pay a fair wage to our firefighters and police so that we can keep them,” Wells said.

Union members who have received no pay increase in seven years are currently in binding arbitration with the city over pay and not happy about it.

“The amount of money we’re making now, if you account for inflation, has diminished by over 15 percent," said Kristopher Baumann.

In addition to Mayor Gray seeking re-election, five members of the Council are running, and Wells, joined by Jack Evans, are pushing the new bill.

The deputy mayor complains they’re interfering with negotiations.

“These two Councilmembers have tried to insert themselves into that process,” Paul Quander said.  “It is wrong. It is poor government, it is pandering.”

“It gives them hope. We want you to stay here, we will pay you a fair wage,” said Wells.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Gil

    Well at least someone who is in charge of the city dosnt hate the fire dept.

     

  • anonymous

    Mayor Gray accusing Councilmember Wells of dirty politics in a mayoral race?

    Seriously?

  • HOOKMAN

    How dare Tommy Wells undermine the " Collective Bargaining Apparatus " and support the Police & Firefighters in supporting us and that we haven't had a raise since 2006. Apparently Vinny thinks the cost of living has decreased and we blood hounds are not deserving of a pay increase…And if anyone knows anything about ethical campaigning, its certainly Vincent Gray right ?????….after all…he's still oblivious to the shadow campaign that got him elected and that so many of his top campaign workers wanted him to be Mayor so bad, they weren't going to tell him, did not ask for anything in return and were delighted to get indicted, go to jail and or plea bargain with the FEDS….

  • Fire21

    Since there's money in the budget and they're not buying fire trucks or raising pay for firefighters, what's the money being spent on?  Raises for the mayor and fire chief, or other graft causes?

  • Ed Jamieson

    It disgusts me to hear this about these already underpaid men and woman who will stop at nothing to save your life when you need them. Day in and day out they put their lives on the line for you who say weather they get a payraise or not. You people of power better pick the ball up and do the right thing for these BRAVE men and woman

  • Anonymous

    More grandstanding by Wells!!

    Got a tip for 'ya Toby……….These two Unions haven't endorsed a Mayoral winner in the past 10-15 years!!!

    • Anonymous

      They endorsed Gray. But depending on how you use the word winner, he may not really be one.

      • Anonymous

        I rest my case!!!!

    • anonymous

      Wow.

      You have no idea what you are talking about do you?

      • Anonymous

        ~~Wow.

        You have no idea what you are talking about do you?

        See above!!!

  • Shh…

    ~~,” Paul Quander said.  “It is wrong. It is poor government, it is pandering.”

    Now it's wrong? Really??

    Hey Paul, STFU.

  • ThatGuy

    I like how the Mayor doesnt even aknowledge the fact that his Protective Service employee's are underpaid and havent received a Cost Of Living Adjustment in over 6 years…. He just feel's like attacking the other canidate.

     

    Washington DC is in its own economic enviroment and continues to thrive with overpaid jobs while the rest of the country's economy suffers. The police and firefighters in DC are EXTREMELY underpaid for the area's cost of living. 

  • Anonymous

    I do believe that Local 36 endorsed "Mayor" Gray in the last election. Or maybe I'm wrong and it was the "Shadow  campaign " that he was endorsed by L36. 

  • oh really

    A raise sounds good, but does it really mean anything getting an endorsement from unions that don't have the numbers to make a difference. Tommy boy is grandstanding for sure, lets see if he wins he'll keep his promise. you know politicians are famous for talking big and than don't deliver.

  • thetruthtoday

    Boston Police just got a huge raise thru the binding arbitration game

  • 1dctaxpayer

    Ha,Ha,Ha, Ha, Ha,Ha. “ What do you think”

    I think you were laughing  cause you wish you would have thought of that.

    It will be an epic day when you are hauled off in handcuffs, Crook!

  • clasdcromwell

    So I geuss Count Chocula was pandering to the AFSCME employees when he gave them a new contract earlier this year.

  • Anonymous

    The only advantage of the endorsements is campaign money as over 2/3 of the memberships are not elegible to vote in the election.

  • Ronald

    Stand by DC somehow this will be our fault and the wrath will come down.  EJ will lead the wrath since he was good at it at his last job.  Why should the mayor want to give us raise's, most of you do it for FREE on you days off and don't seem to have a problem with it.   No stinkin soup for you once again. 

  • Anonymous

    This is a brilliant move by Wells and as a DC Firefighter the best news I have heard in a long while.  

    The big lie of the day was by Grey.  "It undermines the collective bargaining process."  He knows damn well the process has been compromised for several years as a way to stall any agreement with a segment of the workforce he doen't want to deal with.  DC has effectively become a "right to work" state in labor matters.  The Grey administration is controlled by the developers who could give tow cents for the blue collar worker in the District.  What is so ironic is susposed base of Grey support, the black working class, is unable to see it.

  • ukfbbuff

    What could “Mayor” Vincent Gray expect?

    After six years of no pay raises, the Fire and Police Officers who can vote within the City, will vote for those who will back them up.

    All I’ve read here is how Vince and and his “Toady” Ellerbee, have been trying to reduce staffing, forcing a change in work/duty week and then lying about how its “Rolling Equipment” is in “Fire/EMS ‘Ready’” status and then another
    “Investigative Report” by the news media, shows how this is NOT True.

    I’d vote for the person who will give me a much needed pay raise too.

  • IT’S ME

    Paul Quander salary in 2011 was $185k……what does he do again?  NOTHING….

    • PoloWorkShirt

      the mayor can sum up what he achieved with Quander and the firechief as he sits at home during the election watching himself lose…

  • Ol Skool 86

    Grey is pushing for minimum raise increase, isn't that the same? He's buying the SE vote..for once will a motor of this city do what's right by the firemen and police. Everyone in the city has gotten raises but fire/police and saying its contractual is a cop out . The fact is the mayor the FC and Deputy mayor all hate the fire service. They don't understand it and down play the risks and dangers involved..we still do fires daily so that's a poor excuse. Preparation is key…. Basically the mayor should be imprisoned for allowing the fire dept to be run down like it has. Ladder trucks are 13+years old being held together with tape! if a  major incident happens and FF are called back in, they have no equipment to ride. THIS IS THE NATIONS CAPITOL. ITS CRIMINAL to have a wealthy city make its employees suffer daily. Shit the trash men even ride new trucks and have winter coats and hats issued to them. Cops have new vehicles yearly,as well as proper clothing. We are at our wits end and to all you 10 supporters of this communist regime you are truly blinded by stupidity.

  • Ronald

    Ol skool 86….boo hoo cry me a river. I want a pay raise just like you. I bet you are vol on your time off and have no problem doing it for free. But when it comes to the job you want more money. You see the mayor is no fool, he knows that you and others do it for free in probably in maryland and are willing to do it for FREE then why give us a pay raise.

  • PhillyB

    Can’t trust the city tomdo the right thing either by collective bargaining or not, they do what they want … The union sues over unfair practices or breaking the contact that THEY SIGNED… THE CITY LOSES EACH TIME BUT NEVER PAYS UP….. ITS BEEN GOING ON FOR DECADES… THE FIEFIGHTERS OT SUIT IS SUPPOSED TO BE PAID OUT ALREADY, BUT I WILL NEVER SEE A DIME ON THE 6 yrs WORTH OWED TO ME…. AS FOR RAISES, THE PAST MAYOR TO TREAT THE FIREFIGHTER WITH ANY SENSE OF FAIRNESS WAS MARION BARRY BEFORE HIS LITTLE TRIP TO THE POKEY…. AS FOR COLA , THEY YES ARE CURRENTLY AND BETTER THE NOTHING OVER THE PAST 6 yrs, AS MY RETIREMENT DOES SINCE 2005 DOES SHOW, BUT CAREFUL WHAT YOU BEG FOR, … STANDING ON YOUR OWN MERIT IS ALWAYS BETTER THEN HAVE TO OWE FAVORS TO OTHERS FOR EFORTS ON YOUR BEHALF…….TO MANY FEET IN THE FIRE RIGHT NOW TO SEE WHO IS REALLY ON YOUR SIDE…. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELVES AND NOT JUMP ON BOARD TO QUICKLY…. PEOPLE CHANGE … MORALS AND DIGNITY DO NOT…..