FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022
Gianforte gives MT Firefighters a $1.70 raise, while handing out a 46% raise to his Cabinet
Helps his wealthy friends before helping our emergency responders
Helena, MT – Today, Governor Greg Gianforte announced he was giving a raise of $1.70/hour to our hardworking Montana wildland Firefighters. For those keeping track, Gianforte gave his appointed Agency Directors much more substantial raises, some receiving as high as a 46% pay increase.
Montana Firefighters– who have battled against one of the longest fire seasons in the state’s history this past year– will now receive hourly base pay of $15.50.
Compare that with the raises Gianforte gave to his Cabinet. His highest paid appointee, the Director of Department of Public Health and Human Services, receives an annual salary of $165,000 – a 46 percent increase over the previous director’s salary of about $113,000.
Gianforte’s Director of Commerce received a 41% raise; his director of Administration received a 28% raise; his Director of Corrections received a 27% raise. Half of his cabinet received at least a 15% raise.
This is not the first time the Governor has failed to make significant investments in our state’s emergency response professionals. Gianforte has also refused to give hazard pay for our hardworking Montana healthcare workers, instead preferring to pay out-of-state nurses to fill staffing shortages.
“Gianforte couldn’t make his priorities any more clear,” says Sheila Hogan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “He hands out cushy raises to his friends in his Cabinet, instead of investing in our hardworking Montana firefighters and nurses. He cares more about helping his wealthy friends than making Montana whole again.”
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