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CAL FIRE contract extension includes raise, temporary pay bump

The union representing CAL FIRE firefighters struck a one-year deal to extend their contract and raise pay by as much as 7.74% for experienced firefighters

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The agreement calls for all CAL FIRE firefighters to receive a 2.5% salary increase, effective July 1 of this year.

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Andrew Sheeler
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO —The union representing Cal Fire firefighters struck a one-year deal to extend their contract and raise pay by as much as 7.74% for experienced firefighters, according to a tentative agreement released by the state Human Resources Department.

The agreement calls for all Cal Fire firefighters to receive a 2.5% salary increase, effective July 1 of this year.

All firefighters above the entry-level rank of Firefighter 1 and fire lookout also would benefit from new maximum pay ranges that would raise top wages by 2.62% percent beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Additionally, all firefighters above the entry-level ranks of Firefighter 1 and fire lookout would receive an extra, temporary raise of 2.62%. That special compensation would begin on Jan. 1, 2022 and expire on July 1, 2022.

The agreement affects more than 6,500 full-time equivalent employees represented by Cal Fire Local 2881.

In 2020, with the state facing a possible recession and a $54 billion deficit, firefighters took a 7.5% reduction in pay, as well as receiving two flexible days off each month, as part of a deal between the union and the state.

Under the terms of that one-year deal, that pay cut expired at the beginning of July.

The agreement comes as Cal Fire crews are busy fighting historic wildfires. Five of the six largest fires in California history all happened within 2020, and this year fires such as the Dixie Fire and the Caldor Fire are tearing across Northern California, with more than 1 million acres currently burning as a statewide drought exacerbates conditions.

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(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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