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Santa Maria firefighters call on City Council for higher wages

SANTA MARIA, Calif.- Santa Maria Firefighters are calling on City Council for better wages amid contract negotiations.

The union president says Santa Maria Firefighters are some of the lowest paid in the local market.

The fire captain says Santa Maria is the second busiest yet second lowest paid fire department in Santa Barbara County. Local firefighters are living in cars or with family because they cannot afford a home. 

The union president says over the last twelve years the city has lost 40 percent of fire crews - mostly to higher paying jobs.

Job applicant numbers have dropped from over one thousand to less than one hundred for ten open positions.

Santa Maria City Staff provided a statement saying, "The city remains committed to work with representatives of the labor group at the negotiations table we value our employees." 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Tony Almanza


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