By Leila Merrill
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House has passed a measure that would improve pay and benefits for federal wildland firefighters.
According to Government Executive, the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act (H.R. 5118), introduced by Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., would increase federal firefighters’ pay to a base of $20 an hour and make their compensation “portal-to-portal,” which means that employees are paid for time on the job but not carrying out their primary duties.
Also included: annual pay adjustments, a disability annuity, hazard pay, and seven days of paid mental health leave.
In May, the House passed a bill to reform the federal government’s workers’ compensation program to make it easier for firefighters with chronic illnesses to access benefits.
Biden raising federal firefighter pay to fight wildfires
The pay raise will come in the form of retention incentives and by providing additional bonuses to those working on the front lines