Atlanta - Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms promised that firefighters would receive additional raises at annual firefighter awards breakfast in November. On Wednesday, the mayor announced that firefighters would receive pay increases that roughly averaged 20 percent.Bob Andres / robert.andres@ajc.com

Atlanta mayor announces raises for firefighters

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.

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.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X