Wilmington Firefighters Run Ads For Better Pay

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- Firefighters in Wilmington are going to the public as they seek better pay and benefits.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports the Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association is running ads on several electronic billboards around the city.

One of the ads has picture of a firefighter with the legend: "Risking our lives for $9.63 an hr."

Another, with a firefighter climbing a ladder, asks "Why are we at the bottom of the pay ladder?"

Wilmington human resources director Jeanne Sexton told a budget meeting last week about the low pay for public safety workers.

Sexton said city salaried and hourly employees are paid about 9 percent below comparable markets overall. But she says starting firefighters earn 21 percent below the market rate.