The Pulaski County Council on Monday night reviewed a revised salary ordinance which specifies wages for various positions. A committee worked to set wages for new hires, but council members had problems with the way starting pay for employees is set.
Auditor Sheila Garling says EMS Director Nikki Lowry was questioning the wage rates.
“She’s questioning that because this is a new paramedic that’s just starting and they’re having to work 630 hours to make $10.50 when the part-time paramedic is making $15 [per hour],” says Garling.
According to the previous language, part-time EMT’s in Pulaski County were required to work a minimum 630 hours prior to receiving a pay increase.
The EMS Department is experiencing problems attracting employees to come to Pulaski County for employment. Several members of the Pulaski County Council believe that EMT’s have already received sufficient training to become certified, meaning the probationary wages are hurting those prospects.
Council member Mike Tiede says the skill level is different from other part-time employees.
“That’s different instead of running a shovel, you know, you get someone to run a shovel,” says Tiede.
The revised salary ordinance was considered during a time when the Pulaski County Council is reviewing job descriptions.
The Pulaski County EMS Department has expressed an interest in hiring more full-time EMT’s to avoid wage issues.
Council members voted to drop the 630 hours requirement before approving the salary ordinance.