No raises for city workers as Tucson faces budget deficit - Tucson News Now

No raises for city workers as Tucson faces budget deficit

(Source: Bill Morrow) (Source: Bill Morrow)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson city memo dated April 19, 2017 says "current salary schedules will be maintained with no pay increases to base pay for any group of City employees."

It is signed by Joyce Garland, Tucson's Chief Financial Officer.

City of Tucson memo by Tucson News Now on Scribd

Tucson has begun the process of trying to plug a $8.9 million budget deficit but hasn't progressed very far before announcing there will be no pay hikes.

A spokesperson for the Tucson City Managers Office says it includes police and fire. But it does not mean city workers will go home empty handed.

Last year, budget cuts left the city with a surplus that it gave back to its workers. Each worker received a $1,000 bonus, or disbursement as it's called.

If there's a surplus this year, workers will get the same bonus although it may be more or may be less. But a disbursement is not a pay raise.

The city manager's office says "it is not pensionable." That means it's not used to compute pensions at the time of retirement. Union officials say the bonus is too small and also not fair.

Mary Kelso, an officer with AFSCME, which represents 800 city workers says they're "taking money out of our pockets."

Just how much money over time, would be hard to figure but it will be a topic of discussion according to Kelso.

"I don't appreciate the fact you're giving me money and taking it back," she said. "You're not helping me with my retirement."

Kelso feels strongly enough about it that she would urge a strike but city workers are prohibited from striking. 

"I think that's wrong," she said.

Kelso said she will definitely attend a schedule public hearing on the proposed compensation plan April 25, 2017.

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