City managers, employees slated to get sizable pay raise; some call foul

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TACOMA — A controversial measure to raise the pay for more than 400 nonunion city workers will go to vote Tuesday night in Tacoma’s city council, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.

The pay hike- slated for mostly Tacoma Public Utilities Employees — would increase overall pay by $7.2 million in two years. Pay to “high-profile general government positions, the News Tribune reported, could range from 5 percent to 20 percent. The fire chief, the police chief and the utilities director would all get sizable raises, according to the News Tribune.

moneyCurrently, both the police chief and the fire chief make less money than their assistants. But at least one city councilman, Ryan Mello, is against the proposal, telling the News Tribune it’s not fair to increase employee pay and raise utility rate prices at the same time.

“I think it’s difficult for the average ratepayer to see how they should swallow these pay raises in light of this economy and their own financial situations,” he told the News Tribune.

Utilities Director Bill Gaines said a pay raise was necessary to help recruit and retain desirable employees, the News Tribune reported. “In our industry, competitors are routinely raising and updating their pay ranges based on the markets,” he said.

Mello told the News Tribune there is not a worker retention problem.

For more on this story, visit the Tacoma News Tribune.

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  • Rize

    No pay raises for them! If there's no $ for busses, art-programs, etc. – Then those city-officials can wait. The Fire & Police Chiefs & the Utilities Director already get paid more than the average worker…

  • Mike

    This is how public corruption operates and Tacoma is operating like Bell California every day. The City Council told the taxpayers that WE have to pay more WE are in a deficit, then WE are paying increase taxes now the City is giving away our hard earn tax dollars to those who profit from the politics in Tacoma. Unbelievable.

  • Janet

    Tacoma residents are taxed to death. Utility rates sky high, added fees, added taxes, added levies, told there are budget issues. Told trash will now be picked up 2 times month. Told the rates have to increase because of costs!

    Who do we call when we”re being robbed by the city itself? No notice on city web site. Had to watch Seattle news to find out the politicians once again are lying to Tacoma taxpayers.

    This is ripe for tea party style revolt. Agree Recall City Council NOW!!!


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