Firefighters' sick pay reduced at council meeting - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Firefighters' sick pay reduced at council meeting

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Firefighters were in attendance at Tuesday's meeting to learn what the council decided about their sick pay. Firefighters were in attendance at Tuesday's meeting to learn what the council decided about their sick pay.
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

Two issues were discussed Tuesday night regarding Athens firefighters.

The city council voted to reduce the amount of sick time accrued. Firefighters now get 11 hours of sick time per month instead of 24. The council also voted to put a cap on sick time carried over, a resolution that applies to all city employees.

Mayor Ronnie Marks said the changes were necessary in order to afford retirement.

The second issue regarded personal days for firefighters. There was no vote on the issue Tuesday, but there was plenty of tense discussion. About a dozen firefighters showed up to the meeting.

The fire chief said for the past ten years, when firefighters take a personal day, they take 24 hours – their full shift.

"We're being told now by the council that was misinterpreted. Whether it was or not, that is the issue at hand now. For the firefighters, it's a moral issue," said Chief Tony Kirk.

The council is discussing changing that personal day to only eight hours, to match other city employees. Mayor Marks said the goal is to clarify the policy and make it fair for all city employees, but there is no easy way of doing that.

"I don't have the right answer for it, but we are putting this in front of the legislative body to say, ‘help us with this decision,'" said Marks.

The personal time issue was tabled because some council members said they needed further clarification. The next council meeting is in two weeks.

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