First-responder pay raise proposal draws mixed reaction

First-responder pay raise proposal draws mixed reaction

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

The Atlanta City Council approved a plan on Monday that would increase pay among city employees, but not everyone is happy.

The proposed plan gives first-responders a 1 percent raise.  Classified employees – who make up about one-third of the city work force -- get a 3 percent raise.  All employees should get an additional 0.5 percent more in January.

"This is long overdue. This is something I think they've been waiting on. It's not quite where we want to go but it's getting us there," said Felicia Moore, the City Council's finance chair.

The head of the city's firefighter union, Stephen Borders, says it's not enough.

"The average firefighter, they're going up $400 a year. You divide that time 26 bi-weekly paychecks, it's not enough to buy one meal," Borders said.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed met with union leaders behind closed doors on Monday to try and reach an agreement on the pay raise. At the same time, wives and other supporters of the first-responders pounded the pavement outside City Hall with voices and signs held high in protest.

It's the first year that spouses have taken to the streets for weeks to protest the many years their husbands and wives have gone without a raise. Many carried signs with phrases like "Demand fair pay increase for Atlanta PD." Elsewhere, billboards carried similar messages. The bottom line: Stop putting first-responders last when it comes to compensation, they say.

The head of the group, Kelly Uhlis -- a police officer's wife -- said that she's happy with the result.

"I think it's a very positive move that the city and mayor are taking," Uhlis said.

Altogether, the city is spending around $3 million for the raises. But while putting the finishing touches on the budget, council added a last minute $2.3 million for Invest Atlanta for economic development work.

"I think that it's hypocritical and it makes us look bad in front of our employees when we tell them we don't have money, we don't have, then all of a sudden you can pull $2.3 million out of a hat with no discussion, no details," said  Moore.

Moore proposed an amendment late Monday that would increase public safety salaries by 3 percent. That measure failed, 10-4, by the Council.

The mayor said that while the raises were not large, they were a step in the right direction.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Woman missing from health care facility

    Woman missing from health care facility

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:29 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:29:43 GMT
    Roswell police are searching for a woman who was reported missing from a health care facility.
    Roswell police are searching for a woman who was reported missing from a health care facility.
  • Fatal shooting off Venetian Drive SW

    Fatal shooting off Venetian Drive SW

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:03 AM EDT2014-09-02 08:03:45 GMT
    Atlanta police are investigating after a man was fatally shot outside of an abandoned car wash.
    Atlanta police are investigating after a man was fatally shot outside of an abandoned car wash.
  • Burglars pretend to be engaged couple buying a home

    Burglars pretend to be engaged couple buying a home

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:18:05 GMT
    Deputies are asking the public for help to find more homeowners who may have fallen victim to two burglars, pretending to be in the market for a home.The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office says Tyler Michels and Rebecca Weismayer were arrested for burglarizinga 76-year-old man's home. Deputies say the two posed as an engaged couple looking to buy their first home. Detectives tell FOX 5 the homeowner let the suspects in, allowing the two to case his home. The two waited until the homeowner left, ...
    Deputies are asking the public for help to find more homeowners who may have fallen victim to two burglars, pretending to be in the market for a home.The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office says Tyler Michels and Rebecca Weismayer were arrested for burglarizinga 76-year-old man's home. Deputies say the two posed as an engaged couple looking to buy their first home. Detectives tell FOX 5 the homeowner let the suspects in, allowing the two to case his home. The two waited until the homeowner left, ...
Powered by WorldNow

WDCA My20 & my20dc.com
5151 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Phone: (202) 244-5151
Email Us

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices