Dayton City Council approved a wage increase for the city’s fire fighters at the March 26 council meeting. Dayton Fire Chief Jason Mickelson requested a wage increase for the city’s fire fighters in order to bring the city into compliance with the federal minimum wage standards. A letter from Minnesota League of Cities representative Rebecca Hardell to Mickelson states the federal minimum wage for paid on-call firefighters is $7.25. The federal minimum wage was set at that rate July 24, 2009. The City of Dayton has been paying its fire fighters $7 an hour.
The change would constitute a 25 cent increase for fire fighters. Mickelson also proposed a 25 percent raise across the board for all fire fighters, which includes probationary fire fighters, lieutenants, captains, district chiefs, the fire marshall and himself, the fire chief.
“We haven’t had a raise in the eleven years I’ve been here and I’ve talked to some of the old-timers and they can’t remember the last time we had a raise,” said Mickelson.
City Administrator Samantha Orduno said Mickelson runs a fiscally sound department and a tight budget.
Based on the department’s current staffing levels, the increase, including the across the board raise will be an increase of staffing costs from $4,500 to $6,000. The increase reflects a 33 percent increase in the fire department’s staffing costs.
Prior to the authorized wage increase, salaries for the city’s fire fighters ranged from $6.50 an hour for probationary fire fighters to $13 an hour for the fire chief, based on title.
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