ST. CHARLES, MO — Several St. Charles firefighters are leaving their department over disputes involving pay.
Still waiting on a new contract, the firefighters are taking jobs in other communities like Wentzville because they feel they are better options.
The firefighters union says this could become an issue in St. Charles, as they are facing an unprecedented personnel turnover.
“I think there’s a little frustration from the administration side, simply because we don’t seem to be making a lot of progress,” said St. Charles City Councilman Dave Beckering, summing up the feeling at City Hall when it comes to the fire department.
There’s been no new contract since the start of the year and as many as 10 firefighters have left.
In a statement, the union said this kind of turnover could jeopardize public safety and have filed several lawsuits over the city failing to live up to the current contract.
“I think we’ve been more than fair and reasonable of what we offered them in terms of giving actual raises,” said Beckering. “Very consistent what we’ve done with other groups in recent past.”
Beckering says they’ve been able to replace departing firefighters, so there’s no issue with public safety, but there does appear to be an issue over getting a deal done for firefighters.
“It’s really a matter of what we think we can afford versus what they’d like to get,” Beckering said.
Both sides are still talking and plan to meet Tuesday.