City workers protest proposed Council pay raise - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

City workers protest proposed Council pay raise

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Union leaders Ken Allen (right) and Gina Pagnotta (center) led a protest in opposition to Atlanta City Council raises. Union leaders Ken Allen (right) and Gina Pagnotta (center) led a protest in opposition to Atlanta City Council raises.
ATLANTA -

Outraged city employees held a protest in northwest Atlanta in opposition to a proposed pay raise for Atlanta City Council members and the mayor.

Atlanta City Council members voted 10-4 on Monday to give themselves a $20,000 per year salary increase.  The mayor's salary would also go up 29 percent from $147,000 to $184,000 a year.  The raise would go into effect in 2014, after the next Council is elected and takes office.

City employees protesting outside of Atlanta's Union Hall on Monday, including police officers, officer workers and construction workers, said they don't mind if the Council gets a raise, but say 52 percent is too much.

"Do I believe they deserve a pay raise? Absolutely. The Council is underpaid, no different than any of the other employee groups," said Ken Allen of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.

Union leaders say the salary hike for the City Council is questionable in the wake of pension reform that required city employees to contribute more toward their pensions.

"They had the power to vote that in for themselves but yet tell us that we couldn't afford it as a city for the city employees," said Allen.

These workers are calling on the city's mayor to take action.

"If the mayor vetoes it, at least it will give us more leverage that we can sit down at the table, give us some time," said Gina Pagnotta of the Professional Association of City Employees.
 
It's not known if Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will approve the raise. His office told FOX 5 that he is reserving judgment about the ordinance until he has time to fully review it. 

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