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Fayetteville city leaders develop plan to increase firefighter pay

Posted June 2, 2015

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— City leaders have developed a plan to increase firefighter pay by a range of 1.5 percent to 19 percent, depending on rank and years of service.

The proposed plan comes as nearly 100 firefighters held a silent protest during Monday’s city council meeting.

Justin Hickman, a Fayetteville firefighter who sat in silence during the meeting, said his colleagues should be paid like the professionals they are.

"It's not a part-time gig," said Hickman, a master firefighter with about seven years’ experience. "This is a professional career. It is not something that you come to work because you can work other things. This is your calling. This is your career."

Hickman wife, Megan, took to YouTube to explain why her husband deserves a raise.

"When Justin was hired in 2008, his paycheck was $700 every two weeks," she wrote. "Now that he has been in the Fayetteville Fire Department for almost seven years, his pay has only gone up about $200 every two weeks."

According to the proposed plan, a new firefighter would receive a 10 percent pay increase, but a "firefighter II" with two years' experience would receive a 3.4 percent increase in pay.

If the pay increase plan is approved, Hickman’s annual pay would increase by about $1,500.

"That is not a whole lot," he said. "We were trying to calculate it last night and it's only like an extra $30 a pay check or something like that."

City council members plan to vote on the pay increase on Monday.

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