Fire Fighter overtime could become an issue

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Fire Fighter pay was once again the hot topic at Tuesday night's Lake Charles City Council Agenda Meeting. Less than a week after ending contract negotiations with the City, overtime pay is once again becoming a big issue. While under contract, firefighters were legally bound to work up in rank which saved the City money - that's not the case anymore.

The Lake Charles Fire Fighter's Union decided to stop contract negotiations after the City Council voted down a request to put a tax proposition on the ballot in support of a pay raise.

"It seems to me like a scheme on their part to maintain what they had in mind as for as getting overtime money or an increase in money. So they are going to get us one way or the other," said Rodney Geyen, Lake Charles City Council.

"You are right Mr. Geyen. They can impose their own pay raise using the overtime system that we spent a lot of time trying to regulate last time," said Marshall Simien, Lake Charles City Council.

"By them choosing not to move up the only people they are really hurting or the same people they want to vote for their tax to give them a raise. It makes no sense. How do they expect voters to pass something if it's put on the ballot when they are costing them money," said Dana Carl Jackson, Lake Charles City Council.

At this time the City of Lake Charles is looking to file suit so a judge can declare what rights they have under the current statute. Meanwhile, Councilman Geyen is asking state legislators to look into possibly changing Civil Service Law.