City employees get raise in new Jackson budget - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

City employees get raise in new Jackson budget

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The city of Jackson has approved a budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The $317 million dollar budget was heavily debated at the last minute, over an amendment, allowing for a pay raise, for city employees.

The budget was approved with one final amendment, sparking a heated debate which included Mayor Harvey Johnson, over a $950.00 dollar a year across the board raise for all fulltime employees.

Councilman Quinten Whitwell says, "A $950.00 dollar increase for every employee per year what that means for those that make the least amount of money could be as high as 6 61/2 percent increase in pay annually."

There was one problem, a pay raise that big wasn't budgeted for, throwing the budget off balance. To get it back in line, council members then agreed to a 1.2 percent decrease in the budget across the board.

Mayor Johnson says, "That will help the lower paid employees no question the challenge is going to be finding that money to fill the gap that 65 thousand dollars were gonna find it , were gonna do it but it could result in the cut in services."

Council President Frank Bluntson said, "Out of 3 some million dollar budget to find 600 thousand to pay for a raise for people who have not had a raise in 4-5 years doesn't concern me at all."

Mayor Johnson and Council members say overall the budget is 8.4 percent less than last year, and does not include a tax increase,,,at least not until city departments find out their budgets shrunk more than they had planned for.

Some higher paid Jackson city employees will see a less than one percent raise in their salaries. The new fiscal budget for the city of Jackson begins October first.

Copyright, WLBT News, 2011.  All Rights Reserved.

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