Atlanta’s first responders are planning to continue their campaign for a larger pay raise with another rally Monday.
Leaders of the city’s unions representing first responders met with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed last week and the parties are expected to sit down again this week. Reed has promised to meet with city union leaders to discuss pay raises.
Last week the group, made up of of City of Atlanta police, firefighters, dispatchers and civilian employees campaigned for a pay raise by advertising their message on a billboard in northwest Atlanta, which read “First to respond, last to get paid.”
The sign also noted the city council received a 52 percent pay increase.
Reed presented the city of Atlanta police and firefighters with a 1 percent pay increase in May, but the group is looking for at least a 5 percent pay increase.
Reed announced a proposal to increase the salaries of all city classified employees by 3 percent in the fiscal year 2014 budget. Reed’s recommendation calls for a 1 percent salary increase for all city employees making less than $60,000 a year.
The city workers, including police and firefighters, who CBS Atlanta notes haven’t had a raise in a long time, plan to march outside of Atlanta City Hall. Monday’s rally is slated for 4 p.m.
Atlanta police Officer Joe Layman talked to the network about the planned march.
“We’re not asking for $100,000. We’re asking for fairness,” said Layman.
Over recent days first responders and their families have held a few rallies and paid to put up billboards reminding City Council that they too want a pay raise. The goal, according to organizers, is to keep the topic fresh in the minds of City Council and the general public.
“There is dialogue. But we want to keep the pressure. We don’t want it to be, ‘Oh, what that happened a week ago, two weeks ago? What was that?’” said Layman.
The group plans to hold peaceful marches until a decision is made.
The city’s new budget starts July 1.