The City of Bastrop, Louisiana, and a group of current and former city firefighters have finally reached a settlement following almost fifteen years of litigation, special property tax increases, and promises. The story starts back in 2008, when 32 Bastrop firefighters filed a lawsuit alleging the city was not paying them as required by Louisiana law. Louisiana law requires most firefighters receive a minimum salary and longevity pay following three years of continuous service. Bastrop firefighters claimed the city wasn’t providing the minimum salary or longevity pay.
In 2019, a judge found for the firefighters and ordered the city to pay more than $1.6 million to the firefighters in back pay and damages. The only hiccup for the firefighters; the cash-strapped city didn’t have the money to pay them. In response, the city’s mayor proposed a special limited term (10-year) property tax earmarked to pay the firefighters. The voters narrowly approved the tax in 2021.
Fast-forward to today, the city has announced that the firefighters have agreed to a settlement of approximately $800,000. This represents, what the city’s attorney refers to as a “one-for-one deal” in which the firefighters agreed to give up one dollar of back pay and damages for each dollar contained in the settlement. According to city officials, firefighters should be receiving the first payments very soon.
Click here for more on the story from KNOE News 8.
Here is more on the story from FirefighterOvertime.org