HORRY COUNTY, SC — Some Horry County firefighters say the department’s new payment system isn’t giving them the full amount of money they should be owed.
“We were always known to have a small check at the beginning of the month, and a big check at the end of the month,” Chad Caton, a former firefighter who often speaks on current employees’ behalf, explained.
Caton said the new system appears to cap the “big check” at 108 hours per pay cycle, and moves additional hours to other areas of the time card.
He said several firefighters are owed dozens of hours of pay, and the most he heard of was more than 60.
Equally frustrating, he said, was a lack of communication from county administrators. He said firefighters were currently relying on hearsay.
“At the end of the day, if you work, pay them,” Caton explained. “When there’s a question about it, find out. There’s a lot of things out there that you don’t mess with. Money’s one of them. Especially when these people are supposed to take care of their families, and at the same time go jump on an ambulance or a rescue. There’s no 912, there’s only 911.”
He said he met with the new county Public Safety Committee Chairman, Danny Hardee, about the problem.
Hardee said he took the concerns to administrators.
“They were aware that there was a mistake made and they were investigating, and their comment to me is that we were going to get it straightened out,” Hardee said.
That echoed the statement county spokeswoman Kelly Moore released Thursday afternoon:
Horry County Government is aware of the reported pay issue affecting the Fire Rescue department. The issue began in November 2018 and impacted a small number of pay cycles. We are updating the policy that governs pay for the department and will be working closely with employees to correct any deficit.
Caton praised county council members for being receptive to the concerns he raised, but emphasized that the county needed to do a better job supporting its employees.
“If you do make a change, call me,” he exclaimed.