Lake Charles, LA Firefighters Protest For Better Pay
The Lake Charles Firefighters Local Union 561 say they are burned out and fed up with low wages. They have reportedly been going back and forth with the city for a while, trying to get proper wages in return for the lifesaving work they do. The American Press reports to make residents aware and garner public support the first responders took the streets Monday, July 27, 2022, in protest.
According to LCFD Union President, Jared Chandler, at the heart of the wage dispute is the starting pay, which is $11.17/hr. That is a problem when surrounding departments in Jennings, Moss Bluff, Sulphur, Carlyss, and Westlake earn more than Lake Charles Fire Department employees. In addition, Chandler pointed out that overtime and 24-hour shifts are causing burnout due to staffing shortages.
Replacing seasoned firefighters is already hard enough. However, a lot of them are leaving for employment with better wages to support their families. This is the same reason why attracting new recruits is at a standstill. Though the City Administrator, John Cardone, pushed back saying there is more to this wage dispute than just the starting pay for a fireman. LCFD employees beg to differ. See the full update on this story as the firefighters push for higher wages and how the City of Lake Charles is dealing with this crisis click HERE.