Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s office moved forward with raises for more than 2,000 city employees hired through the merit system, Finance Director Paul Wesch confirmed Tuesday, May 28.
Stimpson initially told reporters he would hold off on giving raises following a Mobile City Council decision to strip non-merit employees, or those employees appointed by Stimpson, from a budget amendment setting up the raises. Administration officials said they didn’t believe the Council had the authority to make changes to a budget amendment once the budget is approved.
Wesch said the merit-employee raises had no impact on the issues related to the amendment and Stimpson’s office had always intended to give raises to merit employees.
On Tuesday, May 21 the Personnel Board approved the raises for more than 2,000 city employees hired through the merit system, following approval of a budget amendment by the City Council the previous week.
Barnett confirmed the Personnel Board received a request to place the raises on its agenda from the city’s appointing authority, which in most cases is the mayor’s office. Like other cost-of-living adjustments, Barnett said, the raises will go into effect at the start of the next pay period, which is Saturday in this case.
In a statement, Council Vice President Levon Manzie said Stimpson’s apparent change of course is good for employees.
“We are very pleased the Mayor has reversed course and is moving forward with the raises for our employees,” he wrote in a statement. “These folks are the backbone of our city and this is a long overdue and much deserved increase.”
The issue with the raises was the latest in continued fallout over a disagreement about the balance of power between the two branches of municipal government. The larger issues over which branch has the authority to contract with employees resulted in a lawsuit filed by Stimpson in December and has been in slow-moving mediation since.
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