Utica Firemen Petition for Higher Pay.
The members of the Utica, N. Y., fire department have petitioned the city council for higher salaries. In their plaint are the following cogent reasons for granting their request: “The members of the Utica fire department, by the undersigned committee, respectfully petition you to make an investigation and consider the subject of increasing the pay of the firemen of Utica. We ask you before acting upon the subject, to investigate carefully the rates of pay given to members of similar departments throughout the country and to lake into consideration the hours of service required of us and also the increase in cost of the uniforms we are required to provide ourselves with and the cost of living for ourselves and families. We believe that when all of these matters have been carefully considered by you, the justice of our petition will be admitted and the increase granted. We submit herewith a table showing the rates of pay prevailing in a large number of departments throughout the country most of them in cities approximating the city of Utica in size and many of them much smaller. The larger cities are also given for information and comparison. This table was compiled by a periodic.d of high standing. FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, and is believed to be reliable. From this table it will be seen that our men are among the poorest paid, and that in many cases the pay of men in cities less than half the size of this city is as large or larger. In comparing our work and pay with that of other callings, it must be borne in mind that our hours of service are greater than those of any trade or commercial calling. When on duty we have one hour off for each meal, and even then if we know of a call we respond. The other 21 hours must be spent at quarters and, while not occupied by actual labor tor all of these hours, we must be there, ready to respond to a call at any minute, regardless of sleep or rest, and when called, the limit of our work is only the limit of our physical endurance.” There cannot be any doubt as to the justice of the cause of the Utica men and it is to be hoped the city legislators will do what is just in the matter.