As we mentioned last week, Humboldt Bay Fire Protection District’s firefighters are demanding a raise.
Like clockwork, one of the fire union’s representatives put out an opinion piece which bemoans just how hard and unfair life is for firefighters. You can read that opinion piece here: Local firefighters are getting burned
Matt McFarland, author of the opinion piece, says that “Humboldt Bay Fire line staff has gone 10 years without one single pay increase — not even for cost of living. In that same 10 years, the average cost of living has increased 19 percent.”
We’d invite you again to check out the article we wrote last week about the reality – between that article and reading the Memorandum of Understanding between HBF and it’s union employees, you’ll see that the claim about raises is completely false.
So, to counter that bullshit claim with some actual numbers, here are two links; one is to a list of HBF salaries from 2013, and the second is the same list from 2014.
We challenge you to find a single fire-fighting employee that worked a full year whose base salary did not go up from 2013 to 2014.
There may very well be a few in there, but we got tired of looking after cross-checking over 20 of them to find that, indeed, every single one of those we did check received more in 2014.
The opinion piece in the Times-Standard does have one good thing to say, though. It’s this:
“At Humboldt Bay Fire, the wage gap between captain (the highest rank represented by our union) and fire chief is a whopping 120 percent. Across the state, the average gap is around 50 percent.”
We’ve looked at the ridiculously high percentage of upper-level firefighters in Humboldt before. And we agree that they are getting paid way too much compared to lower-level firefighters, and we’ll also say again that there are way too many of them.
But we refuse to be taken in by the dog and pony show put on by the fire union when every single firefighter at HBF took in over $100,000 in total compensation more than three years ago – and those pays have definitely gone up since then.