As North Carolina counties and cities come up on budget season, firefighters and police officers across the Charlotte region are seizing the moment to ask for a pay raise.
Jeff Tracey, first district vice president of the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of North Carolina, is helping firefighters across the state secure higher wages, including in Hickory. "We are dealing with it everywhere -- some are much worse than others," Tracey said. "Right now, a lot of fire departments around, because of the shortage of qualified candidates, are offering lateral transfer positions, and they're all paying at a pretty decent clip." He said the pandemic is just one part of the issues firefighters are facing.
The town of Stallings' police chief said the pandemic and social issues within policing have also led to turnover in his department.