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Thread: Scranton Firefighters make minimum wage

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    Default Scranton Firefighters make minimum wage

    http://www.businessinsider.com/scran...pay-cut-2012-7



    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...wage-pay-cuts/

    Just for discussion's sake, I know that this goes a little more broader then just firefighters/firefighting but they are included too.

    It's really tough in this region, its hard to find a job..period..that is full time, pays somewhat decent, and maybe includes some type of medical benefits, which I think is why a lot of people just don't have the money to be paying tax increases every year. Include the fact that the cost of living is so low in the city that it attracts a lot of lower income people who may be on welfare (not trying to start a bashing thread where it is I work 3 jobs, while you are on welfare) who just don't have the income to be able to pay the outrageous taxes that in this case need to be paid in order to bring the city back from where they are now.

    There is definitely a shared blame/responsibility between the city's political officials, and the cities inhabitants. The people who live in the city, as well as cities across the nation buy into this "we won't raise your taxes, blah blah blah" but then as the cost of everything goes up over the years they expect the same type of services provided i.e. roads plowed, roads repaired, fire and EMS (Scranton FD does not run EMS) but a lot of city and county FD's in similar situations do, as well as police and trash pick up....sure, gas was $1.35 7 years ago but minimum wage was like $5.25? so it is really all relative if you think about it, but the people expect the same, for less money because they buy into the politicians crap like a bunch of sheep, and the politicians are to blame because they miss-use the funds they have, and lie to the people about the tax/financial situation until it explodes in their faces like it has done here.

    You may or may not agree with the fact that Scranton firefighters make more money then a lot of other metropolitan departments who do a lot more work, in areas that may be a lot more dangerous (Camden NJ comes to mind), and in area's where the cost of living is substantially more expensive.( a decent 2-3 bedroom apt in a decent area of Scranton runs around 700-800 dollars, the same apartment in Philly or NYC, or metro DC would easily run 1200 dollars plus) note: this is not a union vs. non-union volly vs. paid bashing thread either.

    I think its awful that people's families have to suffer because of the people they elect to represent them and run their city. There are people who may or may not lose their homes now, kids will be effected, people's way of lives are going to be turned upside down because of the lies politicians weaved and the idiot masses who believed them.



    **there are many more links on the topic available, i selected 2, but The union pres. was on MSNBC last night, and I'm sure there are more then enough articles/news stories that can give you guys a more in depth picture.**

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireFuss View Post
    What is the mayor's and city council's salary right now...?

    Bet those numbers are a weeeee bit higher than $7.25!
    fuss, I'm pretty sure everyone is getting the 7.25 an hour, I can try to find a local news clip when the story first broke..

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    http://wnep.com/2012/06/19/no-new-fi...s-in-scranton/

    http://wnep.com/2012/06/27/scranton-...-minimum-wage/

    The first clip was how the mayor gave back money from a safer grant to help hire 20 new firefighters.
    I always thought that it would be more economical for a city to hire more people then pay overtime costs..I dunno.

    But, the second clip states that all city employees including the mayor will be paid minimum wage.

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    I live a block away from scranton. I'm very surprised these firemen and policemen are working as hard as they are for what their being payed. It's really sad, as I know a few of these me and honestly I don't know how some of them are going to pay bills like they normally do. I know if my pay was cut that hard I would have a terrible time living a life with a family, mortgage, etc.
    Firefighter 1/ PA EMT-B

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    The city employees are caught in a ******ing match between the Mayor and the City Council... pathetic, absolutely pathetic.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 07-11-2012 at 06:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    I always thought that it would be more economical for a city to hire more people then pay overtime costs..I dunno.
    That's what a lot of people think and oftentimes politicians take advantage of that to cast the union and it's members in a negative light with the public.

    Up to a point, it's actually cheaper to use overtime to cover vacancies than it is to hire someone new. For simplicity's sake......let's say a full-time employee makes $20/hr. Obviously paying a new employee $20/hour is cheaper than paying OT at $30/hr. When you factor in other employee costs, that can quickly change. We'll say Healthcare adds $3/hr, pension adds $2/hr. Now that cost comparison is $25/hr vs $30/hr. Now let's say that the vacancy the new person is being hired to fill only exists 1/3 of the time during the year and the rest of the time that person is "extra". The annual cost of that employee @ $25/hr, 40hr/wk is $52,000. The annual cost of covering the vacancy that occurs 1/3 of the time using overtime would be $20,800.

    In that situation, it's more cost effective to pay overtime to fill the vacancy rather than hiring somebody. Now let's say the vacancy occurs 2/3 of the time. The annual cost of that is $41,600. So, it's still not cheaper to hire a new employee. But eventually you will cross the point where the OT expense passes the $52,000 mark and it would be cheaper to hire a new person.



    Now let's look at how politicians like to exploit the popular notion that hiring is cheaper than OT. First, they like to throw out there some large figure regarding OT, like $2 million spent on OT without putting it into proper context. They don't tell you that hiring 30 new firefighters to eliminate that "exorbitant" figure would only reduce that figure to $800,000 and cost an additional $1.5 million in new employee costs.

    Then they'll roll out the "we're overbudget" stuff, but neglect to inform the public the actual reason they are "overbudget". They'll budget $1 million dollars for overtime even though the historical trend for overtime in the department is $2 million dollars annually. Doing this allows them to play their PR game and try to make the employees look "greedy".

    Finally, they'll roll out individual earnings info and frame the employee in a negative fashion. They'll say firefighter Bill made $100,000 last year, highest in the city. They'll say 9 of the top 10 were from the FD and explain that Bill's annual base salary is only $50,000 and express outrage that Bill was paid so much in overtime and infer that it was just given to him without really doing anything for it. However, what they will leave out is that instead of working 40 hours a week, Bill actually works 60-70 hours per week. They won't mention that the reason Bill got all those OT hours is because most of the department's employees pass on taking OT and Bill and some others don't pass on taking OT. In some cases, they also won't mention that the reason all this OT exists is because there are numerous authorized positions in the department that are unfilled and they decided not to hire some new employees even though doing so is more fiscally prudent.

    The public lacking these "details" will often latch onto this disinformation and look at how it compares to their own situation (particularly these days) and conclude that the "greedy" fireman are "overpaid" and are the cause of the city's financial woes.


    But, the second clip states that all city employees including the mayor will be paid minimum wage.
    What a politician says they will do on camera and what they actually do are not always the same thing.
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    FireMedic049, are you employed by Philly? I'm thinking you could be one of Mayor Cutter's stooges, you just recited their playbook word for word.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    I work for a busy career FD that transports as well and I make 10cents over minimum wage.

    So yeah there not the only ones..and yeah its hard to make it buy if you're not working at least 15hrs of OT a week.
    Professional Firefighter/EMT-B

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    To effectively shoot holes in their argument, you have to understand their argument. Firemedic049 has just displayed what it takes to fight in today's situation. The ICMA is pushing their tactics around the country, sharing their cutting tactics with each other, and showing each other how to make cuts that make fiscal sense, they don't care about the consequences as much as they do money, and right now the majority of the public shares that sentiment.

    Gone are the days when we can just tell the public the obvious answer to cuts is increased response times, increased damage and unltimately increased harm to human life. Today is all about numbers, the public has instant access to data, and when they fail to see our data proving our point, we lose. The problem is people have to lose for us to compile the data, and we will get it, but the cost will be more than just dollars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    FireMedic049, are you employed by Philly? I'm thinking you could be one of Mayor Cutter's stooges, you just recited their playbook word for word.
    mrpita.. you are totally misreading firemedic049's post... he's on our side!

    He is reciting what the politicians do to cut staffing by attrition saying paying someone OT is cheaper in the long run, then complain about the cost of overtime using the figures of the highrest earners as proof we are "overpaid"... the do not mention however, that Firefighters Smith and Jones were ordered to work due to the having the lowest hours on shift or lowest seniority or were recalled for major fires and incidents.

    They also neglect to mention that they may have worked details required by the city for public safety and which, by the way, the City adds anywhere from a 10 to 20% administrative fee just for shuffling the paperwork.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    mrpita.. you are totally misreading firemedic049's post... he's on our side!
    I thought the same thing, but realized that we were misreading MRPITA's intent. He "liked" Firemedic049's post, I think he was noting that FM49 had a perfect handle on Philly's political tactics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    FireMedic049, are you employed by Philly? I'm thinking you could be one of Mayor Cutter's stooges, you just recited their playbook word for word.
    No, not employed by Philly. I'm on the other side of the state near Local 1. Haven't been to Philly for about 20 years. Was planning to come out for the Convention this year, but that didn't work out. We've been busy fighting our own battles and it put a good hit on the coffers. Plus we know we're in for a battle when it's time to do the next contract and anticipate having to spend another good chunk of $ for that. So, as a small local, we felt it best not to make the trip and put the $ we would've spent away for a rainy day.

    As for your Mayor's playbook, I'm just paying attention to what's going on coast to coast. A number of other cities seem to be working from the same playbook and it's not exactly a complex one to figure out.

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    None of these politicians are paying any attention to the reason things are so bad. They're killing off manufactuing and energy, things that would provide jobs and income. You can't have tax income from all these entitlement programs. Somebody has to make something to produce income.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    mrpita.. you are totally misreading firemedic049's post... he's on our side! {EDITED by MRPITA}
    Not quite, Chief...

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I thought the same thing, but realized that we were misreading MRPITA's intent. He "liked" Firemedic049's post, I think he was noting that FM49 had a perfect handle on Philly's political tactics.
    THIS.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    No, not employed by Philly. I'm on the other side of the state near Local 1. Sorry, my tongue was in cheek. I knew from your other posts you were out there somewhere. Haven't been to Philly for about 20 years. Wish I could say the same thing. Was planning to come out for the Convention this year, but that didn't work out. We've been busy fighting our own battles and it put a good hit on the coffers. Plus we know we're in for a battle when it's time to do the next contract and anticipate having to spend another good chunk of $ for that. So, as a small local, we felt it best not to make the trip and put the $ we would've spent away for a rainy day. I feel ya, good luck with that.


    As for your Mayor's playbook, I'm just paying attention to what's going on coast to coast. A number of other cities seem to be working from the same playbook and it's not exactly a complex one to figure out.
    Sorry all, next time I'll stick a "" in there.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    Not quite, Chief...



    THIS.



    Sorry all, next time I'll stick a "" in there.
    Thats ok, we all know it's the pain meds....
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpita View Post
    Sorry all, next time I'll stick a "" in there.
    Caught the tongue in cheek pretty quickly. I'm good, I know all you Philly guys are just a bunch of jagoffs anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fieronfire View Post
    I work for a busy career FD that transports as well and I make 10cents over minimum wage.

    So yeah there not the only ones..and yeah its hard to make it buy if you're not working at least 15hrs of OT a week.
    There's no way I'd work for that wage as a career. That's an insult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    None of these politicians are paying any attention to the reason things are so bad. They're killing off manufactuing and energy, things that would provide jobs and income. You can't have tax income from all these entitlement programs. Somebody has to make something to produce income.
    That is very true. I also own a business my father started and the amount of regulations, bonds,taxes,royalties to DEQ for my own rock and fines for inane noncompliance issues are simply mind staggering. Politicians cannot create jobs but they can sure make it so nobody can get a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    There's no way I'd work for that wage as a career. That's an insult.
    God forbid there are still some of us out there who have a vested interest in the communitites we protect and a genuine love for the job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    God forbid there are still some of us out there who have a vested interest in the communitites we protect and a genuine love for the job.
    Why don't you try and live for three months on the amount you would make at minimum wage and get back to us on this.
    You can love a job and have a desire to help your community but financial constraints will dictate the amount you can contribute or sacrifice financially.
    Also consider this these firefighters have just been told that they are worth the same as a worker at McWackers. That is quite a slap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    God forbid there are still some of us out there who have a vested interest in the communitites we protect and a genuine love for the job.
    So, if you are not willing to work for peanuts you don't have a "genuine love for the job"? What a handjob. So you are saying that the city could pay you ANYTHING and you would just bend over and take it? Really? Do you have a mortgage? Bills? Any kids you have to pay through grammer school or high school? Not interested in your quality of life? What you "true believers" seem to forget is that this is a JOB - maybe the best job going - but just a job. A JOB is something you do to allow you to lead your LIFE. Apparently you have the two confussed. Minimum wage is an entry level wage for completely unskilled workers. If you are willing to make a "career" of earning minimum wage, then good for you. Please don't try and look down on the rest of the world that expects to be fairly compensated for their labor.
    sfd1992 and ATFDFF like this.
    Just a typical moronic, childish, idiotic munchkin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    God forbid there are still some of us out there who have a vested interest in the communitites we protect and a genuine love for the job.
    Hey Batman, riddle me this: what is the FF to do, who has a mortgage, 2 car payments, three kids and all of the other associated costs (utility bills, food, clothing, braces for the kids, etc etc etc) supposed to do when he normally brings home $2500K per week (or whatever their normal take home is) and he is told all of a sudden, without any I & I bargaining or other kind of negotiations "Oh, hey, we're now going to pay you $750 bucks for your 48 hours."

    What a jagoff.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Hey Batman, riddle me this: what is the FF to do, who has a mortgage, 2 car payments, three kids and all of the other associated costs (utility bills, food, clothing, braces for the kids, etc etc etc) supposed to do when he normally brings home $2500K per week (or whatever their normal take home is) and he is told all of a sudden, without any I & I bargaining or other kind of negotiations "Oh, hey, we're now going to pay you $750 bucks for your 48 hours."

    What a jagoff.

    You can't argue with that. good news is, the next paycheck is going to be regular pay rates, however the mayor said they may go back to minimum wage in the future depending on financial situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Hey Batman, riddle me this: what is the FF to do, who has a mortgage, 2 car payments, three kids and all of the other associated costs (utility bills, food, clothing, braces for the kids, etc etc etc) supposed to do when he normally brings home $2500K per week (or whatever their normal take home is) and he is told all of a sudden, without any I & I bargaining or other kind of negotiations "Oh, hey, we're now going to pay you $750 bucks for your 48 hours."

    What a jagoff.
    I "get" what GTRider245 is trying to say (or, at least, what I think he is trying to say). All "traditional" firefighters (and that has nothing to do with the type of helmet you wear) have a true love of "the job". They are passionate about what they do and the communities in which they serve. They expect themselves and their co-workers to know and do their jobs. They train and excel, not because they are told to, but because they want to.

    That being said, a huge pay cut would take it's toll on anyone. I realize many folks adopt a lifestyle that reflects their income but regardless, a sucker punch like these guys received would affect anyone, anywhere, and in any profession.
    DFW



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    Quote Originally Posted by Miller337 View Post
    Why don't you try and live for three months on the amount you would make at minimum wage and get back to us on this.
    You can love a job and have a desire to help your community but financial constraints will dictate the amount you can contribute or sacrifice financially.
    Also consider this these firefighters have just been told that they are worth the same as a worker at McWackers. That is quite a slap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Whocares View Post
    So, if you are not willing to work for peanuts you don't have a "genuine love for the job"? What a handjob. So you are saying that the city could pay you ANYTHING and you would just bend over and take it? Really? Do you have a mortgage? Bills? Any kids you have to pay through grammer school or high school? Not interested in your quality of life? What you "true believers" seem to forget is that this is a JOB - maybe the best job going - but just a job. A JOB is something you do to allow you to lead your LIFE. Apparently you have the two confussed. Minimum wage is an entry level wage for completely unskilled workers. If you are willing to make a "career" of earning minimum wage, then good for you. Please don't try and look down on the rest of the world that expects to be fairly compensated for their labor.
    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Hey Batman, riddle me this: what is the FF to do, who has a mortgage, 2 car payments, three kids and all of the other associated costs (utility bills, food, clothing, braces for the kids, etc etc etc) supposed to do when he normally brings home $2500K per week (or whatever their normal take home is) and he is told all of a sudden, without any I & I bargaining or other kind of negotiations "Oh, hey, we're now going to pay you $750 bucks for your 48 hours."

    What a jagoff.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    You can't argue with that. good news is, the next paycheck is going to be regular pay rates, however the mayor said they may go back to minimum wage in the future depending on financial situations.
    You guys seem to have missed the point.

    We have guys jumping ship every so often chasing money at other departments or sometimes in other fields all together. There are those of us who could have taken a number of other jobs making more money, but we didn’t. We like our department and most of us live in the communities we protect. My point was that money is not always the driving factor for who stays and who goes.

    The situation in Scranton is special in that EVERY employee is taking the cuts, not just the firefighters. The city is broke. Where do you want the money to come from? These guys have a few options. Either severely adjust their way of living (house, cars, etc.) or quit and get another job. These are tough economic times and we are long past the point of thinking we are immune to the affects of such simply because we (as a service) are public employees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
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