Atlanta firefighters to receive nearly 20% pay raise

Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter said it is the highest pay raise for Atlanta firefighters he has seen in his career


Stephen Deere
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Wednesday announced that the city would provide firefighters an average raise of nearly 20 percent.

The raises will go into effect this January.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms (left) announced yesterday that the city's firefighters would receive a pay raise averaging 20%. Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter (center) said it is the biggest pay raise for Atlanta firefighters he has seen in his career. (Photo/City of Atlanta, GA Twitter)
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms (left) announced yesterday that the city's firefighters would receive a pay raise averaging 20%. Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter (center) said it is the biggest pay raise for Atlanta firefighters he has seen in his career. (Photo/City of Atlanta, GA Twitter)

Fire Chief Randall B. Slaughter called the raises historic.

“This pay raise represents the single largest pay enhancement to firefighters in this city in my 29 year career,” Slaughter said.

Wednesday’s announcement capped years of tension between firefighters and the city leaders that at times became public.

Firefighters did receive a 3.1 percent raise in the city’s 2020 budget but that amount is dwarfed by the 30 percent raises for police officers that Bottoms announced last year.

The city agreed to the police raises after a study found that Atlanta Police are paid below the median amounts at almost every level and rank.

The Fire Foundation hired the same firm that studied police pay to conduct a similar review of firefighters’ compensation. That report was released in May. It found that base pay ranges were below the overall market and hurt the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s ability to attract and retain talented firefighters.

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©2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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