News From Senator Joyce

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2001
Further Information:  Marie Blanchard (617) 722-1643

JOYCE FILES BILL TO FUND EDUCATION

INCENTIVES FOR FIREFIGHTERS

Senator Brian A Joyce, along with Richard T. Moore, Representative Timothy Toomey, and Senator James P. Jajuga, has filed a bill to establish a "career incentive pay program" for firefighters in Massachusetts. The program will be similar to the so-called "Quinn bill" which funds advanced degree programs for Massachusetts police officers. Joyce’s bill will authorize increases in the base salary of firefighters who further their education in the field of fire fighting.

Upon filing the legislation, Senator Joyce said "today’s firefighters are responsible for everything from providing ‘first response’ emergency care to battling blazes with ever-changing technology. This bill will provide an incentive for fire fighters to continue their education in a field that now requires a more sophisticated and technical background."

The bill authorizes a ten percent increase in base salary for firefighters who obtain an Associates Degree; twenty percent for a Baccalaureate Degree and twenty-five percent for a Masters or Doctorate Degree attained after July 1, 2001. The salary increase will not be retroactive.

Half of the salary increase given to each firefighter through the program would be reimbursed by the Commonwealth. The career incentive pay program would have to be accepted by each town to become effective for that town’s firefighters.

-30-