- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - Members of a Gautier firefighters union will meet with city officials Oct. 8 for mediation about a lawsuit the union filed against the city.

Attorney John Clark said the Gautier Firefighters Association Local 3290 filed suit in April 2013 demanding the city provide each union member and city employee 24 hours of holiday pay at straight time for employees not working on a holiday and 24 hours at time-and-a-half pay for employees working on a holiday. The lawsuit also is asking that firefighters receive three years’ retroactive holiday pay, plus legal fees.

Last week, the City Council approved a budget that includes a small property-tax increase to be used for training and compensation for certified fire and police department employees. On Sept. 3, the city met with the union in hopes of resolving this issue by increasing public safety pay, paying eight hours’ back holiday pay and offering merit-based step pay increase.

Mayor Gordon Gollott said the union declined the offer.

Gollott told The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1pki4OD ) the city is prepared to negotiate. He said the workers have always been paid according to their contract.

The city’s budget year begins Oct. 1, and police department employees will get pay raises starting Oct. 10.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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