Firefighter Overtime in Louisville Sparks Debate

Taxpayers may soon be on the hook for a $60 million overtime bill from city firefighters.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. --

Louisville taxpayers may soon be on the hook for a $60 million overtime bill from city firefighters.

The city has paid overtime based on salary only, but a trial court and the state appeals court ruled in favor of the firefighters who insisted other factors like longevity pay and bonuses should also be factored into pay.

Mayor Jerry Abramson said he'll appeal the judgment to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

"We have a responsibility to the firefighters," Mayor Abramson said. "We also have a responsibility to the taxpayers and what we're trying to do is make sure that it's handled properly."

The mayor said if the firefighters win, the overtime bill has the potential to wipe out the city's savings account.

He said that would result in cut services and would hurt the city's ability to borrow money for large projects.

The firefighters union president Craig Willman responded that his group has been open to a settlement for years.