FORT WAYNE – Most city employees will see 2 percent raises next year after four years of seeing only 1 percent increases or no raise at all.
Fort Wayne City Council members voted Tuesday night to approve the job classifications for all appointed employees and public safety employees. Those classifications include the salary ranges, and most employees – with the exception of executive-level workers – will see an average 2 percent salary adjustment.
Officials estimate the increase will cost the city about $2 million in additional salary costs per year.
A week ago, council members voted to approve a 2 percent raise for members of the Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents officers with ranks of sergeant and above. Council members said at the time that while they expect the budget to be difficult, it will only get tighter in the future and this could be the last raise employees see for a while.
Tuesdays discussion was short, with Human Resources Director Mike Esselburn explaining that the changes were recommended by a consultant hired to make sure the citys workforce is properly aligned and competitive, and only one question from the council.
Only Councilman Mitch Harper, R-4th, voted against the measures. He did not speak on the proposals at the table but said later that his constituents have been telling him raises need to be considered within the context of the entire city budget, rather than as separate issues.
Councilman Marty Bender, R-at large, abstained on the measure dealing with public safety employees; he is a deputy chief on the Fort Wayne police force. Councilman John Crawford, R-at large, was absent.
The council is expected to be presented with the proposed 2013 budget next week. It will conduct budget sessions the first two weeks in October and is expected to vote on the budget Oct. 23. City officials warned council members in July that there could be a $3 million to $6 million shortfall due to flat or declining revenue and rising costs.
Tuesdays votes were in committee session; the measures could get final approval next week.