A hearing is scheduled in Washington, DC at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday October 27, 2021 to discuss two pieces of legislation that would affect the pay and job classification of federal wildland firefighters.
The hearing before the House of Representatives Natural Resources subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will be titled “Wildland Firefighting Workforce Reforms.” Members of Congress will receive testimony on two bills:
- H.R. 4274 Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act. (Rep. Zoe Lofgren). It would waive limitations on overtime and premium pay for wildland firefighters that affects higher level employees at the GS-12 and above level. If they work a certain number of overtime hours, they can now “max out”, after which they earn no more money. (The Wildfire Today article from Jan. 29, 2021 has more information about this bill.)
- H.R. 5631 Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act. (Rep. Joe Neguse). This bill has numerous provisions, including raising firefighter pay, creating a wildland firefighter job series, providing health care and mental health services to temporary and permanent wildland firefighters, housing stipends, and other items. (More details are in the Wildfire Today article from October 19, 2021.)
The full list of witnesses is not yet available but the Grassroots Wildland Firefighters, a group that participated in developing H.R. 5613, will be represented at the hearing by their President and Vice President, Kelly Martin and Luke Mayfield, respectively.
The committee’s web site has links to the written testimony of the witnesses.
A live stream should be available on YouTube when it begins at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday.