City of Big Spring Sued Over Overtime Pay

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - A big fight in Big Spring and it's about over-time pay.

The Professional Firefighter Association says the rate they've been getting is wrong and they're going to take the city to court to fix it. The lawsuit was filed Monday in Abilene.

The Firefighters Union says the City of Big Spring has failed to pay overtime correctly for years.

A according to the President of the Big Spring Professional Fire Fighters association, the overtime laws were changed in the 90's by the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The city was supposed to calculate overtime based on a firefighters total salary, not just their base salary. Some city employees get more pay for special certifications and extra education but the city had not been taking those things into account.

The Union President told NewsWest 9 on Friday they had been working with the city to get all of this worked out so they would not have to go to court.  They set a deadline of October 1st, but the city did not meet the deadline and still hasn't paid, so they decided to file the lawsuit.

"Hopefully we will get this settled and we can go on and not worry about it. Again there is no vengeance on our side, we just have to protect ourselves. We'll get this over with and we'll back to business as normal. Firemen can't strike, we will always have firemen at our stations. Nobody is not going to quit or not show up, we will all be there," Robert Stapp, President of the Big Spring Professional Fire Fighters Association, said.

There are 42 firefighters in the Union working for the city and all of them want compensation for their overtime. The city is only liable for the past four years of back pay. The city did start paying them correctly in June.

NewsWest 9 contacted the Big Spring City Attorney for a comment. She said she had just received a copy of the suit and said it would be Monday before she could look at it.

Of course, we will continue to follow this story closely and bring you any new developments.