Some employees with Ft Lauderdale jobs in the local government sector will soon begin seeing bigger paychecks.
Even though city officials have announced that several employees could be laid off this fall, other city workers will be receiving a 5 percent pay raise. Those include general employees, police officers and firefighters.
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted in April 2010 by a slim 3-2 margin to approve the pay raises for police officers and firefighters. The three-year contracts allow for a 5 percent raise this year, a 2.5 percent increase next year, and a 2.5 percent raise the following year.
That news comes after City Manager George Gretsas and Mayor Jack Seiler both said the city will most likely lose some workers by the end of the year. Those cuts will result in fewer high-salaried managers and a “restructured chain of command.”
The Sun Sentinel is reporting that Ft. Lauderdale’s own budget advisory board has urged that pay raises be reduced or eliminated, and that union contracts be reopened for “modest, across-the-board wage reductions.” In addition, other cities throughout South Florida have approved budgets that include pay freezes for government employees.
Supporters of the raise say the contract is fair because it includes pension reform requiring officers and firefighters to pay an additional 1 percent into their pensions beginning in October, and an additional .25 percent next year, while any new hires will pay 8.5 percent into their pensions. In addition, the rate of investment return has been decreased from 7.75 percent to 6 percent.
In addition to police and firefighters, members of the city’s general employee union also are receiving a 5 percent pay raise under a contract that was approved two years ago. Another 250 non-union employees are asking for the same 5 percent raise.