Without Respect Firefighters May Soon Be Gone With the Wind

I bet the last time the Yankees came through, citizens of Atlanta wished their firefighters received the same pay as their soldiers. I have no qualms against police officers and feel that a 3.5% raise for them is more than fair, particularly at their current salary. But to imply that firefighters do not deserve equal treatment is ludicrous.

Police officers risk their lives daily to keep us safe. Not a day goes by that we don't see the police in action in some form or the other But the firefighters frequently headline the metro section as they battle a variety of blazes.As a citizen, I feel it ludicrous that both are police and fire deparments are paid signficantly less than similar cities, or even cities in the surrounding area. I applaud Franklin for keeping our budget opporating in the black and recognize how difficult that can be. I also applaud her for her success with creating a reserve. Most Americans can't seem to manage that on a smaller budget, with less public pressure to spend, spend, spend, and Franklin's ability to change these things speaks volumes for her character and her determination.

However, a review of her 2005 budget veto letter reveals the goal of "Making the salaries for over 60% of City of Atlanta full-time government employees comparable to similar municipal employees in other jurisdictions". My question is, which 60% deserve to receive equal pay MORE than our firefighters and police officers? Without these brave men and women, we would soon not have much of a city to stand on. These folks risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe, and if anyone should be put at the forefront of a swift pay increase, it should be our firefighters and our police officers.The idea that increasing pay will help stop the turnover in the police department is not necessarily a bad one.

It should be noted, however, that the September 2005 issue of The Police Chief noted that police departments across the country are experiencing an increased rate of turnover. One of several reasons given was due to salary. The bigger issue, I think, has to do with respect. If we allow members of Congress to strike our police officers and get away with it when said officers are simply trying to protect the same people attacking them, who is going to want to work for our police force? If we continue to tell our firefighters that they are not risking their lives enough, who is going to want to be part of that group?.People don't want to work for a boss or an organization that continually disrespects them.

This applies to small businesses as well as large organizations. According to a 2005 Sirota study, the biggest reason people voluntarily quit their jobs depends on the overall satisfaction with their employment. Pay comes in last on the list (number five). Employees want to be recognized for making a difference and treated as though they are important ? and our firefighters and police officers are definitely important.

The promise of equal salary between firefighters and police officers given by Franklin when she ran for office should be kept, if only to show these heros that we value them. Otherwise, we might find our firefighter attrition rate increasing in the near future?and I don't think Tara is big enough to hold all of us this time around.

.Nola Redd is an author on http://www.Writing.

Com/ which is a site for Writers. She also keeps a local Atlanta small business blog.Article Source:


By: Nola Redd

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