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StarNews: Wilmington council discusses paying 'living wage' to city employees

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By: Julian March
StarNewsOnline.com

Wilmington's roughly 1,000 city workers that officials say are underpaid could soon see their salaries increase.

City Council members spent a considerable amount of time discussing employee compensation during a Monday work session on next year's budget.

At the meeting, Human Resources Director Jeanne Sexton recommended that the city enact a new policy that pledges it will pay employees a “living wage.”

“We feel it's important that they be paid a decent living wage,” she said.

To read the rest of this story, visit the StarNewsOnline.com.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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"Living wages"

May be "the death" to some tax payers.
If a particular group is under paid then I would suggest publishing the data and proposing to increase the pay of THAT group to bring it up gradually.
I'm not convinced that ALL city employees are under paid.
Firefighters? Yes
Police? Maybe
The management group? Probably not.

So I don't think it's fair to say a raise for all city employees.

Vog

Really?

For one thing, I heard that no tax increase has been recommended in the new budget to support any salary increases. For another thing, I seriously doubt you're going to "die" from a small 1 or 2 cent increase even if they DID increase taxes, which they aren't.

Yes, ALL city employees are running about 9% under salary compared to 10 other NC cities, but Firefighters (24%), administrative support (15%), and "general" workers (10%) are an even higher percentage. All city employees should be shown they're valued, not just certain groups. The city has already lost many fine employees over the past 5 years because other companies pay better. You're going to get the quality of employees that you pay for.

You made the point yourself

You made the point yourself when you said the city is losing fine employees. Those were the smart ones who said I am going to take care of this myself and get paid what I am worth. Get with the program.

GuestReality

Did I say there was a tax increase to support pay raises?

The one thing about city employees is that we have to minimize raises because they are the "cost that keeps on costing".
compare a firefighter to an administrator
Firefighter at $30K, Administrator at $60K
Both work 30 years
Firefighter gets a pension of $20K per year (66%) and will probably die early
Administrator gets a $40K pension (66%)and will live for a long time.

The pension that government employees get is a form of pay that when factored into their "sub market" CURRENT pay brings them up to closer to private market pay scales.

The pension is a big attraction for going into government work.

Vog

Take a good look downtown

Take a good look downtown Wilmington. Here is where that new proposed tax is going. It has nothing to do with improving downtown and Is just another transfer if wealth.

Government employees always

Government employees always think they deserve more than they are getting. Add in their benefit package and watch that yearly compensation skyrocket. I worked for the state for over 17 years and was only making about 48000 per year. My benefit package was worth about 14000 a year. I still made a personal decision to leave. People complained all the time but never tried putting their so called talents on the open market. That would require lots of work. they know they have it made and will never leave but still complain. Only the true go getters leave.

Huh?

17 years and you ONLY made $48,000 per year? Gasp, recoil in horror! How about working for almost 20 years and making $10,000 a year LESS than that.

Yes, we have a benefits package, but the cost of that has gone up for employees too. For a single individual, you have to meet a $2,000 deductible before any health care is paid at all. For a family, it's a $4,000 deductible. A benefits package is nice, but it's not money in your pocket.

You should know that after working for a company for over 10 years, if you wanted to leave to work elsewhere, you would have to start over again in salary at a new company, which means making a lower salary than you're currently making. Why would anyone want to do that? Since you're such a "go getter" and left State employment, what was your starting salary at your new job?

It's time to stimulate the economy a little and at least pay people enough so that they don't have to qualify for food stamps. Those raises will have employees putting money right back into the local economy. How can you expect a change if you don't do anything different?

From the sound of your post, I'm betting the State was glad you left. They probably gave you a really nice farewell party.

You are clueless as to how

You are clueless as to how the workplace operates.People leave jobs after 10 years and take what they have learned to apply for better jobs and more responsibility with other companies that are willing to pay them more money. You have obviously been a government worker your whole life. Have you applied for promotions within your own or other departments. Maybe the county will pay more for your services??? Folks you have to get resourceful and stop looking for everyone else to better your place in life. Oh by the way I had outstanding performance appraisals all the time. Another reason I left. Same raise as any state employee who got average on theirs. I know how this all works so you will not con me into believing your pity crusade.

All this whining has given me another idea about a new business venture.
JOB COACH!!!!!

Bitter

Ok lets try to set this straight. Started for the state in 90 making 22000 a year as a state law enforcement agent. Promoted and transferred to another state agency in 04 making about 46000. Left in 08 making about 48-49000.

Dont know what type of position you currently hold but probably not as dangerous as mine. That could be why your salary is a bit lower. Did you notice where I said promoted and transferred. Thats what you have to do sometime to make the extra bucks. When I left the state my new job was my own business so my salary was $0. Are you getting it now. I took a chance and used my skills and abilities to create a better future for myself.

When our new director came to talk with all the employees about their gripes and complaints in 02 I told him I did not have any and was looking to put myself on the open market to see what I was worth. I think he respected that more than the same old sob stories.

I think my 19 year old has learned a lot from his dad. He graduated high school last year and was denied at Chapel Hill and all the military academies. he had to settle for UNCC but did not give up and went for what he thought he was really worth. Knocked out a 4.0 in his first semester and now just admitted to West Point!!!!! What are you teaching your kids???????