Maine Town Council Approves Back Pay for EMTs

Bucksport mayor apologizes for error


 
 

MARIO MORETTO, Bangor Daily News | | Monday, October 1, 2012


BUCKSPORT, Maine -- After two false starts, the town on Thursday finally approved more than $5,000 in back pay for members of Bucksport's Ambulance Service.


It was the second vote on the issue, after councilors erroneously declared the back pay approved at a meeting earlier this month. At that meeting, the council "approved" the resolve 3-2, despite town rules that dictated four affirmative votes are needed to approve a resolve.


The retroactive pay covers a period from July 1 through Aug. 30, and amounts to the difference between an old pay structure and the new one that included pay raises for first responders and the addition of "pager pay," which compensates EMTs for time spent on call.


Some councilors opposed the back pay because it was made necessary by Director of Emergency Services Craig Bowden prematurely adopting the new scheduling and pay arrangement. Bowden told his crew on July 1 that the new system was in place, even though the council hadn't approved it yet. Bowden took responsibility for the mistake, and said it was a result of miscommunication.


Mayor David Keene attempted to make amends Thursday for the error in process.


"I've got to apologize to the ambulance service and the community," he said before explaining proper procedure for council decision making.


The vote Thursday ultimately was approved 5-1. Councilor Robert Howard changed his vote without comment, and Councilor Byron Vinton, who was absent when the initial Sept. 13 vote was taken but had previously voiced strong opposition to the back pay resolve, voted for it.


Vinton said he still was upset that Bowden had implemented policy before it was approved by the council, but said the question needed to be resolved so the town could move on.


"There was not anyone more upset when this issue arose," he said. But "I realize that we need to get by this and get past it and get on with our lives, individually and as a town."


Councilor Michael Ormsby cast the sole vote against the resolve, maintaining his position that it essentially served as a "pass" for improper town action.


"My vote has nothing to do with being against firemen [many of whom are EMTs]," he said. "It has everything to do with not following proper procedure."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, politics

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >