FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - A recent study shows police officers and firefighters in Florence are being paid lower wages compared to surrounding cities, but the city’s Public Safety Committee is fighting to change that. The committee is working on a plan since it is now aware of the wage gap.
Mayor Steve Holt says it’s no secret police officers and firefighters leave the Florence departments to work for other cities for more money. He says he understands the importance of the job these public servants are doing, and wants to compensate them appropriately.
“We can never thank them enough we know all these other departments are important and these are out public safety employees that I would not we ignored but we haven’t done a job of keeping up over the years and we need to address to be are public service employees,” Holt said.
The PARKA salary comparison study is the first to shed light on the wage gap issue. Florence first responders are making less money than those in several other cities, like Decatur, Athens, Huntsville and Muscle Shoals.
Holt says it’s going to cost $1.4 million to bring the salaries in line with these other cities. That means Florence citizens may be shelling out more tax dollars to bring their wages up to speed.
There will be an emergency city meeting on Tuesday to come up with a plan to raise wages for first responders.