According to YubaNet:
WASHINGTON — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the implementation of President Biden’s pay initiatives to recognize and support federal wildland firefighters. The initiatives will increase the amount paid to approximately 3,500 firefighters with the U.S. Department of the Interior and more than 11,300 firefighters at the USDA Forest Service to ensure all firefighters are paid at least $15 an hour.
The pay increase will go into effect immediately, and wildland firefighters will receive a minimum of $15 an hour with a backpay date of June 30, 2021. To ensure the pay increase happens immediately, the Departments will provide pay awards to all frontline firefighters that earn less than $15 an hour to ensure their pay will meet that minimum. In addition, all temporary frontline firefighters will receive a $1,300 award and all permanent frontline firefighters up to GS-9 will receive an award equal to 10% of six months of their base pay.
Last week, driving through Bend, Oregon, I saw signs outside three fast-food joints offering $14 to $15 per hour, and one of them offered a $200 signing bonus. Firefighters make more than $15/hour, when you factor in overtime and hazard pay. But will a $15 minimum be enough to attract new FFs? Maybe if they were permanent, year-round jobs with benefits….