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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been nearly three years since Wilmington city employees have received a bonus, but tomorrow night council could approve $1.2 million to give workers a boost.

The city says the money for the bonuses largely comes from vacant positions and the restructuring of jobs.

If council approves the $1.2 million, the majority of city employees will get $1,000 come December.

The city says in the last three years employees have had to deal with a reduction in benefits and have also had to pay more for their health insurance.

Several council members say the bonuses are long overdue. They say the money to pay bonuses is only there because city employees have worked hard.

“Our employees have worked for this bonus,” Councilman Ronald Sparks said. “They are working double time, working more jobs because we have not filled open positions. Even though I would have liked to see this money put on road improvements or whatever — this is a chance to give them a bonus when they have not had a bonus in so long.”

The city also plans to use up to $7,000 of the money for an employee appreciation party.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest3456

    It is true private corporations and citizen pay taxes to fund the operation of goverment. The alternative is to pay for the services recieved directly. We often overlook the benefits of living in a modern world and forget the cost of living in a thriving commuity. When you need help in the middle of the night or the water isn’t flowing from the tap you call a “Public Sector” worker. After a storm when trees are blocking your street or your street is flooded you call a “Public Sector” worker. When a “Private Sector” employee drives to work or their company ships/receives materials it is over a street network designed and maitained by “Public Sector” workers. When thngs are going bad and infrastructure failures are creating difficulties “Public Sector” worker take the blame. What effect have the city staff reductions had for most of us. I haven’t seen any reduction of services, emergencies are handled, firemen still respond, traffic signal function, garbage is collected, potholes filled and streetlights illuminate are nights. Someone is picking up the slack. Is it possible the “lazy gub-mint” workers that are the butt of everyones jokes are actually conscientious, dedicated workers who are doing their job for more than just financial compensation.
    Back to the origanal topic, goverments depend on taxes from private corporations and citizens- some of whom are also goverment employees- and private citizen and corporations depend on the services and infrastructure provide by goverment. It is a 2 way street.

  • Guest20

    “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” – President Harry S. Truman.

    Do YOU even know what you just said?

  • Guest20

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • guesty

    Yes, they go into it full well knowing they will not be paid. Seems like if there is extra money that the city is hot to spend, spend some on the people that are risking their lives for no compensation.

  • GuestBonus

    Even if the bonus is approved, then mine will go right back to the city to pay property taxes. Christmas is out of consideration for my family this year, but at least we will have a roof over our heads.

  • guesty

    I was going to respond but I figured he was nothing more than a troll.

  • Guest20

    If you ask most city employees, they will tell you that they would prefer to drop the party and have cash money. The party has always been something that city management has pushed, not something that employees want.

  • Guest3

    They know it’s a “volunteer” position from the very beginning, so that’s a non-issue.

    I would think that if they ever want to apply for a full time paid position, then their standing as a reserve officer would be taken into consideration.

  • Guest658

    Hiring more people just increases operating cost. Why do you think large companies pay time and a half for overtime and bonuses for extra work instead of hiring additional people. It is always more cost effective to pay an existing worker extra for additional work than hire a new employee. A bonus is a one time expense, hiring a new employee is a reoccuring annual expense. Business 101. Wake up Wilmington, quit complaining and get involved at the polls if you don’t like the status quo. The recent City Council election was decided by less than 300 votes.

  • taxpayeriam

    Without the private sector paying taxes you would not have the public sector workers which only pay taxes with tax money from the private sector the government does not create money to pat public workers only the private sector,so who should receive any monies not spent the people would paid the money or the people how take the money.

  • Guest787865

    I am sure the person wanting more welfare had to be joking. I know there are a lot of stupid people out there but they cant be that stupid, I doubt they are even on welfare, based on the facts that they are on a news website and that they are awake before noon.

  • Truth Police

    Racist that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!!! I feel dumber for having read it! Why don’t you get off your butt and get a job! And for the thought that you deserve it, deserve what? You deserve to be taken off welfare and thrown on the streets until you get a job! This country was built upon the shoulders of workers who carried the burden of doing….. and now is being destroyed by leaches such as you! Get a life/job!

  • Guest1234512345

    How are city workers responsible for that? They can’t control who is employed and who isn’t. By the way, they’re taxpayers too.

  • Guest8989

    It has not been 3 years without a bonus. It has been 3 years without a raise while they continue to slash benefits. I have worked for the city over 3 years making less than 30k trying to support a wife and 2 kids. I have never once called in sick never been late and never complained about compensation. Saw this on the news and was excited I might actually get to buy my wife and kids a Christmas present this year. This one time bonus is not going to hurt anyone, still not giving us even a cost of living raise which is long over due and that is fine. I know an extra $850 in my paycheck would mean a whole lot to my family.

  • Guest55555

    That would be a little hard to do, since the city and CFPUA are totally separate entities.

    CFPUA is not connected with the city; it’s a totally separate company. CFPUA sets it’s own rate charges for water and sewer; they aren’t set by the city.

  • Guest9743

    They are giving it back to the taxpayers (the city employees), the “some of them” that you’re referring to that don’t have jobs don’t pay any taxes.

  • Guest11212121

    Also, some of them would not have a city if not for the blood, sweat and tears of the men and women that work for this city

  • Guest4098574

    If you don’t pay people what they deserve they will go elsewhere. Cops and firefighters in our city are some of the lowest paid in the state. The good ones are going to leave to make more money. I grew up in Wilmington and now have a family of my own. I am willing to give up a park or fixing a road to ensure the people protecting my family are the very best. Please pay these people, they deserve a lot more then they get and I know my family in particular are very greatful for them.

  • Equality

    They should give the extra money to those of us on welfare. We deserve it.

  • Clevenative

    I’d like a bonus but I’m too lazy to work

  • Guest2020

    My husband went for many years without a pay raise. At the same time our insurance premiums were going up, we managed and did not complain, after all, he did have a job. Well, he had a job until the state cut the program he worked for. If the pay raises are a reasonable expense that can be afforded, then go for it. As for the party, I believe it to be an unnecessary expense therefore they shouldn’t do it. I am sure the city’s employee’s will be able to carry on without it.

  • Guest Reply

    You that didn’t vote last week put the same ones right back in office where they wanted you to. First we are millions in the hole for budget…now 1.2 million heavy???????
    This city is an absolute “JOKE”!!!!
    Wallow in it!

  • guesty

    The auxiliary (reserve) police officers with the Wilmington Police Department are not even paid. It is strictly a “volunteer” position. They have to go through all the same training & hiring requirements as a full time officer. When they go to court, no pay. When they go to training, no pay. There are no medical benefits other than coverage if they get hurt only while working. Most reserve officers work full time jobs and are giving their time to the city due to wanting to help out or to fulfill the need to serve their community.

  • Give the money back to the taxpayers,some of them don’t have jobs !

  • Guest02

    A majority of people work their whole LIFE with no work place bonus. Are you kidding me, the city workers have gone three whole years with no bonus and the tax payers are supposed to foot the bonus bill?
    Jobs have been cut and the lucky ones with a job are now going to get a party and a bonus. WOW. I seriously hope this is not approved.

  • Guest54321

    Ron Sparks is right. The city employees continue to perform and provide all services even with many positions vacant or eliminated. Most of the budget cuts thus far are from staff reductions but city staff is still expect to provide the same level of service. How long can we expect the city employees to continue to perform the extra work required to maintain these services at current levels when the budget is being balanced on their backs. There are many areas, in the city budget, where savings could be realized but when it comes to employees you get what you pay for. If you want to have the workers that couldn’t make it anywhere else responding when you have an emergency or answering questions when dealing with complicated issues just keep forcing the good employees to go elsewhere for adequate pay. Look at the number of vacant positions because employees have left to go to the private sector or other municipalities that are providing adequate compensation. I’m all for eliminating wasteful spending and pet projects but let’s not blame the employees for the mistakes we residents make at the polls. Everyone screams for changes and transparency but the same people are elected year after year.

  • Jennifer

    Why not hire people for with that money?? People need jobs not a bonus!! That would be wasteful spending at its best!! Let’s Party!!!

  • progressive citizen

    Give them the bonus! Positions have not been filled and current employees are doing double work. The bonus will reward the loyalty of hard workers who have remained with the city during tough times rather than going elsewhere. PLUS, giving local workers a much deserved bonus at Christmas will help stimulate the local economy. Local workers spend their money in local stores. Mr. Cheatham, this is great leadership!

  • Awesome! This means taxes will be lowered in 2012! How about a rebate for 2011?!

  • Give the money to CFPUA so they can stop raping me on my water bill.

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