May 22, 2013 12:23 AM by Rebecca Taylor
TUCSON - Topics directly affecting your wallet took center stage at city hall Tuesday, including the adoption of next year's budget and city pay raises.
The pay raises city council members approved at $5.3 million, has now doubled to $11-million a year.
Despite the higher cost, the council voted six to one to squash the previously approved 55-cent an hour ‘across the board' increase.
Instead, the pay raise formula is this: starting in January a 55-cent hourly increase for most workers and provides larger raises for police and fire, depending on years of service.
A 911 dispatcher would get a dollar increase starting in July to stay competitive with county wages.
There were mixed emotions from city workers.
Folks with AFSCME Local 449, feel disproportionate raises are not fair. While a spokesperson for the police union says, it's not everything they were looking for, but it's a good start.
William Bonanno is the President of the TPOA, "We're happy with the decision, we're happy that the city is moving forward in the right direction. I think council member Scott put it perfectly. This is about balancing the priorities of the citizens of this community."
James King, a city worker for 12 years and member of AFSCME Local 449 says, "I have guys here that are already talking about moving to other jobs because they just don't make enough money. And then with the 55 cents we're supposed to get in January, it's still not enough, so I'm not very happy with it. My stomach's not settled good at all."
The council will re-visit the budget in October to ensure they're in good position for 2015 and beyond.
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