Hawaii County approves increases in salary for firefighters

HILO – The Hawaii County Council has approved salary increases and bonuses for firefighters.

West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday that three county council members switched their votes Tuesday to unanimously pass the raises.

Officials say the compensation package features a 2% salary increase for each of two years, bonuses of $1,500 to $2,000 annually and a 2% increase in regular pay based on years of service, known as step increases.

Officials say the package is expected to cost the Big Island county an extra $7 million over two years in its payroll budget of about $30 million annually, which is about 10% more than the current expenditure.

The three councilors say information provided by the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association answered the questions that initially led them to vote against the proposal.

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Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com

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