Raleigh City Council Tables Public Safety Pay Raise
Posted April 5, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — For months, Raleigh's firefighters and police officers have said they are understaffed and underpaid. They went to Tuesday's city council meeting hoping to get a pay raise, but the council voted to table the issue for another two weeks.
The council said they wanted more time to study the $5.7 million pay raise package proposed by councilman Paul Coble.
"We want to be able to read it and digest it to be sure," says councilman Benson Kirkman, "because we're talking about a $6 million decision."
Coble suggested pay hikes of about 13 percent for new police and firefighters. However, the public safety workers want 20 percent, and they will spend the next two weeks lobbying for it.
"We're glad to get what we got," saysRaleigh firefighterTrey Mayo. "It's not what we asked for, and we are going to press onward to get what we think we deserve."
"It's going to keep us out there working two or three extra jobs still," saysRaleigh policeofficer Sean Woolrich.
Police and firefighters say city leaders have not accounted for Raleigh's high cost of living. They say they cannot afford to live in the city they serve.
"We're very disappointed by it," Woolrich said. "It fails to address a lot of the issues here, and we think it represents a lot of flash and very little substance."
The city council says it will vote on the pay increase package April 20.