LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It’s a dispute that’s been dragged on for 18 years, but Tuesday, a jury awarded back overtime pay to 17 Louisville firefighters and dispatchers. They’ll get a combined total of more than $100,000 before attorney fees.
They are the remaining plaintiffs from a wage dispute that started in 2000, during Jerry Abramson’s mayoral administration. Firefighters were working 56-hour weeks, but were not receiving overtime compensation for their extra 16 hours.
“We work on behalf of this city, of behalf of its citizens," Vice President of the Local 345 union Jeff Taylor said. "That’s who we work for. We just want to be paid, you know, in accordance to what we agreed with with Metro Louisville.”
The union expects Metro Government to appeal the ruling.
“There’s a tremendous amount of money being spent to fight this,” Taylor said. “A big aspect of the settlement is the interest. So the longer this drags on … the larger the penalty is for the taxpayers of Louisville.”
In the meantime, firefighters will keep their promise to protect and serve.
“When we go into burning buildings, quite frankly if we thought about what we made on the hour, we wouldn’t go in there,” Taylor said. “We’re dedicated to this community and we’ll remain so. We’ll have our disputes with the administration but we’re going to continue to do our job.”
WAVE 3 News reached out to Mayor Greg Fischer’s office for comment, but we haven’t heard back.