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  • Getting paid enough

    Do those who work in disaster relief and civil services jobs get paid enough for what they do, or do they do it for the simple fact that they just want to be in a position to help others? I have heard that firefighters get paid pennies for all of the good that they actually do. They can work countless hours and their checks do not always reflect this. What are your thoughts?

  • #2
    I think that working for the fire, police or armed forces for examples aren't just jobs, but they are more of a vocation in life. You could probably get paid the same, or even a lot more doing other jobs, but you won't get that same feeling of job satisfaction as I think for these people a lot of it is the fact that they get to make a difference on other peoples lives if they can, and not just there own.

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    • #3
      The sad truth of the matter, at least in this country, is emergency management and civil defense has always received the short end of the stick in government budgeting. It is even worse when you consider nearly every possible type of natural disaster can or has occurred in this large nation (e.g., earthquakes, sinkholes, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and even tsunamis) and the country could, conceivably, get into a serious war with an enemy that capable of hitting North America.

      So, no, I don't think they are paid enough. And on a broader scale, I wish more was done in that area, both beefing up emergency management/civil defense and hardening our infrastructure.
      "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen

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      • pwarbi
        pwarbi commented
        Editing a comment
        Here in the UK, exactly the opposite is happening and the emergency services are being cut back on rather than added to, with more and more services being put under pressure.

        At the end of the day it all comes down to money which it shouldn't, and it's no surprise that people are starting to turn their backs on that sector and looking at other fields to ply there trade in.

    • #4
      The firefighters around here make 45k a year with full benefits, 401K and life insurance. I don't think that is enough considering the nature of the work. You have to keep in mind that not every district has paid fire fighters, and some only have a few. The rest are volunteers, and do it for free. I volunteer to work with the CDC for free. I don't mind, but it is not my full time job. I think it is wonderful that there are people who can volunteer 30 or 40 hours a week for fire departments, but I do think it is sad that they have to. I think the system should be set up better. We waste so much money on corruption, when we could be providing a safe infrastructure for our lives.

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      • #5
        I share pwarbi's thoughts on this. Civil service and disaster workers are working not only for the money but more for the aim of helping other people. The feeling of being able to help others and make a difference is incomparable to any monetary amount.. I guess this is what keeps our noble firefighters energetic with their job despite the dangers and lack of compensation for the work they do. It is my hope that workers and volunteers in this field would soon be rewarded well for the sacrifices they make.

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        • #6
          I definitely agree that people take on jobs where you are helping other people because they want to help, not because they want money. Sometimes it runs in the family, e.g police officers, but most of the time, its because they have that natural drive to want to help others. I don't know about whether they get paid enough, but I never hear of any of them complaining so I'm sure they're fine with it. As long as they can supply their needs, they get the self-fulfillment from their job. That's why we have brave volunteers and people who are willing to help. These are the kind of people that I have respect for and appreciate - ones who don't do what they do simply for the money.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by gracer View Post
            I share pwarbi's thoughts on this. Civil service and disaster workers are working not only for the money but more for the aim of helping other people. The feeling of being able to help others and make a difference is incomparable to any monetary amount.. I guess this is what keeps our noble firefighters energetic with their job despite the dangers and lack of compensation for the work they do. It is my hope that workers and volunteers in this field would soon be rewarded well for the sacrifices they make.
            The problem is though, that I think the government know that people want to help others no matter what, and so they know they can push them more than they would anybody else.

            They're taking advantage of their good nature, and they know that these people care about their jobs and the people they serve, so will tolerate more than others.
            gracer likes this.

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            • #8
              Here's a few salaries I know of from where I am:

              Firefighters = 20,000 pesos or 430 USD every month

              Weather Observer = 16,000 pesos or 344 USD every month

              Nurse = 10,000 pesos or 215 USD every month

              From where I am, those who work in disaster situations really are getting paid very low. These numbers aren't even enough to sustain a family. But I think most people who are in this type of work, do it for the love of it. Lots of workers have already gone to abroad just because the salary here isn't enough. So those who stay either love their country and their job or just cannot be approved to go abroad.
              Rosyrain, gracer and xTinx like this.

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              • #9
                Those working for non-government/non-profit offices as well as government workers designated to mitigate the effects of disasters do not really earn much. They do not even receive hazard pay for the dangerous work that they do. It's even more sad for people serving on behalf of the government because their salaries usually arrive months late.

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                • #10
                  I used to work as a nurse at a private hospital here and my monthly salary was only P7,500 (roughly about $159). Deduct the taxes and I would only take home only about P6,000 ($127) per month. This is why most of my colleagues chose to leave and work abroad because of the very low salary we receive compared to the amount of work we exert. I chose to stay and build a small business with my husband instead. I'm no longer a practicing nurse but I comment the ones who still stayed in service here in the Philippines despite the unjust compensation they are receiving.
                  Briannagodess likes this.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by gracer View Post
                    I used to work as a nurse at a private hospital here and my monthly salary was only P7,500 (roughly about $159). Deduct the taxes and I would only take home only about P6,000 ($127) per month. This is why most of my colleagues chose to leave and work abroad because of the very low salary we receive compared to the amount of work we exert. I chose to stay and build a small business with my husband instead. I'm no longer a practicing nurse but I comment the ones who still stayed in service here in the Philippines despite the unjust compensation they are receiving.
                    Oh my goodness, only 7,500? What year was that even? My nurse when I gave birth told me that supposed earnings which is 10,000 pesos without salary deductions yet. And we asked her if she is going to leave the country. She said yes, she's set to leave for Australia in a few months. And although I understand her reasons, it's also quite saddening to know that our nurses leave the country because of a lack of better pay for their work and effort. Even doctors leave the country to serve as nurses or caregivers abroad. If they could only make it 30,000 or even 20,000 pesos, I doubt that our nurses will even leave the country.
                    gracer likes this.

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                    • #12
                      For most disaster workers it really is a labor of love and not something you can make a good living at unless you are higher up in the ranks and make a ton of overtime. I have known a couple of officers who will work their behinds off one they decided to take a family vacation. They would work a lot and save up the money.
                      gracer likes this.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by Briannagodess View Post

                        Oh my goodness, only 7,500? What year was that even? My nurse when I gave birth told me that supposed earnings which is 10,000 pesos without salary deductions yet. And we asked her if she is going to leave the country. She said yes, she's set to leave for Australia in a few months. And although I understand her reasons, it's also quite saddening to know that our nurses leave the country because of a lack of better pay for their work and effort. Even doctors leave the country to serve as nurses or caregivers abroad. If they could only make it 30,000 or even 20,000 pesos, I doubt that our nurses will even leave the country.
                        That was in 2007 and that's a Manila based salary. My other colleagues who worked at a provincial hospital that time even had around P5,000 gross monthly salary. Imagine how one could live with that kind of salary. They all left the country though. I think I'm just one of the few who chose to stay much so because I didn't want to leave my family behind especially my aging parents. I am an only child and I wouldn't want to experience what most of my other colleagues did when their parents got sick and eventually passed away but they weren't able to go home to at least take care of their parents during their weakest moments.

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                        • #14
                          Firefighters and police make around $100 000 bucks a year here in Canada. Most civil servants make over $50 000. I know this for a fact because the government publishes what it pays them.
                          This is all thanks to the public sector unions, who basically hold the taxpayers hostage as they know we NEED these services and will give them whatever they want so they don't strike.
                          If you are wondering how can a country afford this, the easy answer is they can't. They just keep taking on debt to pay them.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by gracer View Post

                            That was in 2007 and that's a Manila based salary. My other colleagues who worked at a provincial hospital that time even had around P5,000 gross monthly salary. Imagine how one could live with that kind of salary. They all left the country though. I think I'm just one of the few who chose to stay much so because I didn't want to leave my family behind especially my aging parents. I am an only child and I wouldn't want to experience what most of my other colleagues did when their parents got sick and eventually passed away but they weren't able to go home to at least take care of their parents during their weakest moments.
                            Gah, 5,000 pesos? Even cashiers at SM have a bigger salary than her. That's such a shame and here I was thinking that Henry Sy is such a selfish businessman. Turns out, he even pays better than our own government! And to think that a nurse's job is very difficult and hectic and they even hold patient's lives. They should be compensated well enough for that.

                            I understand your point though. It's extremely difficult to be away from your family but thousands of OFWs choose that route simple because they aren't paid enough here. They go through home sickness, abuse by employers and even discrimination but they continue on living in another country simply to provide for their families. They even choose jobs that are way below their qualifications just to earn more.

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