New Las Vegas firefighter contract proposal includes a (smaller) raise

Victor Joecks

Hard times in the private sector: 14 percent unemployment and companies reducing bonuses, benefits and even base pay.

Hard times for Las Vegas firefighters: Smaller pay increases, slightly reduced benefits, no layoffs and a guarantee the city won’t privatize ambulance services for at least two years. And the average firefighter is already making over $123,000 in salary (with overtime) and over $174,000 including benefits.

From the RJ, here are some of the details.

· Eliminate a cost-of-living raise. The previous contract called for a cost-of-living raise of 3.5 percent.
· Reduce step increases by half in the next two budget years and cut the starting salary of new employees by 5 percent. Step raises average about 5.6 percent. A city firefighter’s base pay now is $44,947 to $77,602 a year.
· Eliminate the uniform allowance of $1,500 a year for 2011, an expected savings of $900,000.
· Reduce the city’s medical contribution to $360 per pay period, down from $450 per pay period. The contribution will be in only 24 pay periods instead of 26. [Emphasis added]

So while the private sector experiences record unemployment, Las Vegas firefighters – who made on average over $174,000 last year – will continue to receive pay raises.

Just another thing to keep in mind the next time local governments want more of your money.