HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Huntsville City Council passed a new pay raise schedule for city employees Wednesday night, but not everyone thinks it’s for the best.
The new salary schedule for city employees is the first updated plan since 1989. The plan will set salary increases for grades 2 to 10 at 3%. The percentage goes down for higher paid grades. 2% percent for steps 11-18, and 1.5% for steps 19-25.
The Huntsville City Director for Communications, Kelly Schrimsher says this is a step up from the previous plan.
“There were actually periods where employees went through several years without getting a step raise,” says Schrimsher. “This just eliminates that and creates a pay period from 1-25 years where every year, an employee will get a raise. No employee loses money over this.”
The president of Huntsville Fire Fighters Association (HFFA), Troy Graves, disagrees. “A firefighter coming in today on this new schedule… Soon as he can get to captain, he gets to captain, after he does 25 years, he’s at a negative $140,000 over that 25 years.”
Graves says one of the biggest issues is recruitment. “How are you going to get somebody to come in here to do the same job that I’m doing for $140,000 less over a 25 year period,” Graves asked. “It’s not going to happen. They’re going to go somewhere else.”
WHNT News 19 spoke with representatives from the Huntsville Police Department and Huntsville Fire and Rescue, who both say they stand with the decisions of the Huntsville City Council.
Graves admits some city workers could see a positive impact.
“Every employee is going to be different,” Graves said. “Their story is going to be different. How long they’ve been here, what grade in the step they are, are they going to promote, are they not?”
The new pay schedule will take effect on October 7 which is the beginning of the first full pay period of the 2020 fiscal year.