Huntsville budget passes with unknown future for pay parity and employee raises

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For more than a year, the Huntsville City Council members have debated a pay parity ordinance for the Huntsville Firefighters. At Thursday night’s council meeting the board made a motion to pass a budget with the option to revisit the ordinance pay. This decision comes at a cost to every city of Huntsville employee.

In order to move forward with an equal pay ordinance for firefighters, it would cost the city $1.2 million. That’s the same amount used to give every Huntsville employee a 1 percent COLA, or Cost of Living Adjustment, raise.

After nearly 45 minutes of debate, the board decided a budget must be passed in order for city operations to move on. The council made a compromise, passing the budget and taking away the 1 percent COLA raise. This frees funds to discuss a pay parity ordinance in the future.  However, now all city employees are at risk of not getting their raise and firefighters are still unsure of what the council will ultimately decide.

The council will revisit how the $1.2 million will be disbursed throughout the departments.

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