MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Morgantown City Council heard a list of concerns from firefighters involving pay, benefits, and the proposed new downtown fire station.

Chuck Campbell, President of Local 313 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, told councilors firefighters have been incorrectly paid since a new pay system was implemented in December. Campbell questioned why new systems were implemented with little or no direction from administration and employees were left to figure out the mistakes.

He also relayed that holiday pay continues to be an issue. Firefighters have been in a battle with the city over holiday pay since 2019, filing a lawsuit over how holiday pay is calculated.

Campbell says the latest issue seems to stem from the city switching to a four-day work week.

“Firefighters and I believe police officers are still working seven days a week,” Campbell said. “It seems as if we’re observing those holidays whenever we feel it’s necessary in the city, which is directly affecting the firefighters who are actually working the holidays and not being compensated the way they should be compensated.”

Miscommunication regarding health benefits caused some members extra expenses and others the stress of having to find a new insurance carrier.

“The new health care plan went into effect. The old health care plan expired on December 31, 2023,” Campbell said. “The new health care benefit cards, policy numbers, and things like that weren’t received until the third week of January, forcing some of our members to cancel appointments or have to pay out-of-pocket.”

At the end of January, firefighters learned supplemental insurance premiums were no longer being deducted, and there was no notification from the city. Campbell said firefighters were again forced to quickly make important decisions.

“On January 28, we were advised those premiums would no longer be deducted, forcing us to contact our insurance providers and get our premiums up to speed within 48 hours, and some of our members were already dropped,” Campbell said.

Campbell also expressed concerns about the proposed location for the new downtown fire station at Don Knotts Boulevard and Prairie Avenue. Firefighters were involved in one meeting regarding the new location on March 9, 2023, and that is the only time they’ve been involved in the planning process, according to Campbell.

Council members have pledged to work on the issues with firefighters.