With Alex Fisher
Our county’s fiscal health continues to improve, but there’s still a major strain to the budget. It’s coming from the county fire department.
County officials and the county firefighter’s union have not agreed on a new contract for Kern’s 520 firefighters. The department has been without a new contract for about a year.
Over the past year, 17’s Alex Fisher has been requesting documents through the California Public Records Act. Through his investigation, he found the county fire department is millions of dollars over budget, year after year. One of the reasons is because of a system inclined toward overtime that scores of firefighters each make more than $100,000 a year in overtime.
It’s a system so employee-friendly that firefighters can live in Texas and commute to Kern.
Their impressive benefits will last for the rest of their lives. And they’re asking for a substantial raise.