Mayor Kasim Reed announced Friday a proposal to increase the salaries of all city employees in the fiscal year 2014 budget. Reed’s recommendation calls for a 3 percent salary increase for all classified employees. All other employees earning less than $60,000, including sworn personnel, will receive a 1 percent salary increase. This proposed increase is subject to Atlanta City Council approval.
“For the past three years, my Administration has worked to restore the overall fiscal health of the city by cutting inefficiencies and increasing our reserves,” said Mayor Reed. “The city’s general fund employees – who have not had raises for more than six years – have worked hard to improve services in a number of important areas, such as public safety and public works. At a time when many cities are struggling to balance its budgets, I am proud that the City of Atlanta can offer our dedicated public servants fair and competitive compensation for their work.”
The proposed salary increase will affect 6,335 employees and will have a general fund budget impact of $2.8 million. The proposed FY 2014 budget of $539 million is currently being reviewed by the Atlanta City Council and the public. The city’s roughly 3,000 classified employees are those covered by civil service protections and earn a maximum of $61,000.
“We appreciate Mayor Reed’s commitment to fairly compensate the City of Atlanta’s dedicated employees,” said Gina Pagnotta-Murphy, President of PACE. “Today’s meeting was an important next step in the negotiations for a fair compensation package in the FY 2014 budget. I look forward to working with Mayor Reed and his administration on this proposal in the weeks ahead.”
“We want to thank Mayor Reed for taking the time to consider the actual livelihoods and salary ranges of all the employees in the City of Atlanta,” said Gwen Gillespie, Interim Executive Director, AFSCME Local 1644. “It is our hope that as he prepares his budget recommendation, all employees will support the direction he’s interested in taking the city. He’s remained consistent in every effort to elevate the quality of life of our employees.”
Last year, the budget proposed by Mayor Reed and then subsequently approved by the Atlanta City Council, moved all non-sworn employees in the city to 80 percent of their salary range effective July 1, 2012. The year before, the city completed its first comprehensive pay-in-class study in 17 years and approved a new grade structure with new pay ranges for 479 employees across all General and Enterprise funds.
In his first budget, Mayor Reed championed a performance-based salary increase of one-step or 3.5 percent for sworn Police and Fire personnel effective January 1, 2011. The budget also included a one-time $450.00 bonus to all city employees except:
• Sworn police and fire
• Employees in the Executive Offices
• Employees in the Office of Enterprise Assets Management
• All employees making $75,000 or more
These compensation increases stand in contrast to the previous two years, when employees received no raises and there were both lay-offs and furloughs. The furloughs were equivalent to a 10 percent salary reduction for all general fund and enterprise fund employees.
The total proposed general fund budget for FY 2014 begins July 1, 2013. The budget maintains or increases services across all departments, anticipates a $5.1 million contribution to the city’s reserve fund of more than $126 million, and does not increase property taxes for Atlanta residents for the fourth year in a row.