Flaggs calls for pay raise for city employees
Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is pulling information together in the hopes of asking the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to support an across-the-board pay raise for city workers.
There’s a catch. Two to be exact.
Flaggs said the ongoing hiring freeze enacted by the city must continue and the board must approve a budget that funds the city at 97 percent of the previous year’s budget.
“If we are able to do this, then it will be the second time we have been able to provide a pay raise to our employees in the past five years,” Flaggs said. “I hope we can do it, but we need to make sure the budget would allow it.”
Flaggs said the last raise, approved by the board in October 2016, cost the city an estimated $375,000. This raise would be more, because Flaggs again wants the raise to be a percentage increase with those earning below $40,000 per year receiving more of the raise than those earning more than $40,000.
“At this point, that is a target number. We will have to wait and see where the median income point is, but I do want those who are earning less to get a bigger increase than those earning more,” Flaggs said.
The ability to fund this pay increase, Flaggs said, is due to the city’s fiscal policy of budgeting less than the previous year and building a surplus.
The pay raise approved in 2016 for all non-civil service employees was based on a sliding scale from 3.5 to 2.5 percent based in an employee’s rate of pay with employees on the low end of the city’s pay scale — $8.26 to $8.50 an hour, or up to $17,680 per year — getting a 3.5 percent increase.
Division heads, who are at the top of the pay scale — $35,006 or more, got a 2.5 percent raise.
Flaggs said the details of the proposal — or if the city will be able to do it all — is being evaluated. But if a raise can be funded, Flaggs hopes to present the proposal to the board during its budget hearings in August and include it in the city’s budget that goes into effect in October.
“It all depends on budget, but if we do it and approve it in the budget, it would go into effect either in October or in January,” Flaggs said.
The raise, Flaggs said, would not apply to part-time or seasonal employees, or to those employees who have been on the job for less than six months at the time the raise became active.