Morgantown officials release statement regarding firefighter pay dispute

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The city of Charleston and Firefighters Local 317 reached a $1.7 million settlement in a holiday pay dispute.

Reports indicate the dispute began in January of 2012 following the 2011 passage of an ordinance that changed holiday for firefighters. Myron Boggess from the Charleston Professional Firefighters Local 317 says union members thought something was wrong and began to see similar problems across the state.

The change directly contradicted state law, which said firefighters should not be paid less than time and a half of the hourly rate. Charleston Firefighters had been getting paid at a rate of 12 hours of straight time on holidays, Boggess said.

Boggess said they validated their concerns following a MetroNews article regarding the same issue in Morgantown.

Charleston City Council will vote on the agreement and a bill will be introduced to codify the fix during the next City Council meeting on January 21, a release said.

Upon approval, payment will be made by the end of January, distributed according to the terms of the agreement. Barring any unforeseen issues, City Council will vote to correct City Code moving forward on February 3, a release said.

Following a request for comment on Tuesday, January 14 Morgantown City Manager Paul Brake released the following statement:

We value our firefighters greatly and hope to continue a positive working relationship with our firefighters while these issues are resolved. We do not plan to provide any further comment.