JAY — Selectpersons voted Monday to bring the wages of any firefighter not making $9 an hour up to that amount for the year.

They also voted to increase the minimum wage for firefighters to $10 an hour from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2018.

Both changes are to comply with Maine’s new minimum-wage law that increases the wage $1 an hour each year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2020. The $9 minimum wage went into effect Saturday. 

The wage rates had to be set so they can be factored into a municipal budget for 2017-18.

The current firefighter pay scale has a base hourly rate set for each position. Certifications add an additional 25 cents to 50 cents cumulatively to the wage.

The scale went into effect July 1, 2015.

Base wages for fire service officers will remain the same, at between $10.25 an hour and $11.50 an hour, depending on the position. The figures do not factor in certification pay or officer stipends.

Additional certification and training rates and officer stipends will remain the same. Stipends range from $500 for an emergency medical service lieutenant to $8,500 for the fire chief.

Officers receive an hourly rate for some of their duties, including calls and training, and they receive a stipend for the officer duties, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

Fire Rescue Chief Michael Booker said that the whole pay scale may need to be looked at in the future. Junior firefighters eventually will be making more than officers, he said.

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