Protests outside Atlanta City Hall continued Friday morning after families gathered demanding pay raises for police, firefighters and other city first responders.
City workers and their families gathered also Thursday in protest against Mayor Kasim Reed’s designated 1 percent pay raise for public safety workers.
The families claim that their loved ones are forced to work extra jobs just to make ends meet. Demonstrators want to see at least a 5 percent raise.
Reed believes the criticism is misconstrued.
“When I came into office, I was facing a $48 million budget shortfall. I gave the police the first step increase that they had received – a 3.5 percent raise — in six years,” Reed said. “The additional 1 percent means they would have gotten 4.5 percent since I have been mayor, in more than 3.5 years. Show me any leader who has done more for their police department than I have.”
Reed wants to give non-public safety workers a 3 percent increase to make up for the earlier unequal pay raises in comparison with other city workers.
The year after Reed gave workers the 3.5 percent raise, workers gave back 5 percent to help the city with pension contributions.