Morgantown mayor says city is addressing issues with first responders

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After three years of litigation between the city of Morgantown and first responders, Mayor Jenny Selin hopes the city administration is on the verge of resolving the issues.

Jenny Selin, Mayor of Morgantown

Selin acknowledged during a Thursday appearance on WAJR’s “Talk of the Town” that new personnel rules that debuted this month are creating morale issues among police and firefighters.

Some of the changes include the end of the shift differential, changes to overtime and reductions in sick leave. Some police and firefighters said the effect of the new rules was not improving public morale or safety. Some rank and file members believe the pay cuts will cause good officers and firefighters to leave town for the sake of their future and their families.

“Nobody is pretending that everything is going perfectly,” Selin said. “But, I think it works on its own and I think every council member has done something about it at some point.”

The last time the Morgantown personnel rules were changed was in the 1970s. Many workplace and workforce changes have happened since then and Selin said the rules had to be respected.

“When you’re in the business of having employees, you have to use current standard language, current standard payment methods, retirement and it has to be written,” Selin said.

Since the rules took effect on July 1, regular meetings have been held between City Manager Kim Haws and first responders, according to Selin. Selin said she did not know the specifics of the negotiations, but explained that she wanted the most qualified first responders to serve residents.

“I’m a decision-maker, so I’m not on the front line of these negotiations,” Selin said. “But, I am worried, I am watching and we are informed. I am very happy with the way people communicate and solve problems. »

Selin said no one avoids trouble.

“It’s just that when something is in progress, it’s not the time to announce anything in particular until it’s all over.”

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