The Atlanta City Council on Wednesday approved a $648.6 million Fiscal Year 2018 General Fund Budget, which increases the city’s minimum wage to $13 per hour.
The general fund is part of the city’s $2 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018.
"Today was a very good day for our city employees,” said City Council President Ceasar Mitchell.
The amended budget was approved by a vote of 14-0.
The Atlanta City Council issued a press release on the budget approval:We were able to secure a 3 percent raise for a group of employees who have been excluded for years. We increased our minimum wage from $10.10 per hour to $13.00 per hour in the new budget and $14.00 per hour in next year's budget. We also raised the floor for salaries for our brave men and women with the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department.
These raises were the results of the hard work of the Employee Compensation Technical Advisory Group I convened in 2014 to deal with compensation for our city employees.The $13 per hour wage increase will impact 360 city employees. The current city minimum wage is $10.10 per hour. Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
The council also approved a policy statement committing itself to increasing the city’s minimum wage to $14 per hour starting July 1, 2018 and $15 per hour starting July 1, 2019.
Pay increases for firefighters have been set up on a three-tier system based on years of service.
The base salaries for firefighters are as follows starting July 1: Tier I - $40,000 for 0 to 10 years of service Tier II - $43,428 for 11 to 15 years of service Tier III - $46,856 for 15-plus years of serviceThe base salaries for firefighters do not include additional compensation when education and other credentials earned are considered.
City employee pay grades 19 and above will receive a 3-percent salary adjustment. That increase excludes salaries of $150,000 and above. The minimum salary for a grade 19 position is $41,000 per year, although education and skill requirements are factors.
Additional amendments include funding for: Hosea Feed the Hungry in the amount of $200,000 Zika Virus prevention in the amount of $400,000 Critical new vehicles and equipment for the Department of Public Works in the amount of $500,000 Road and sidewalk improvements along Memorial Drive in the amount of $542,292 A new police precinct in Zone 3, District 12 in the amount of $1 millionFinance and Executive Committee Chair Howard Shook commended his colleagues after Wednesday’s vote for approving a balanced budget that addresses the city’s priorities.
"This will be the last budget that this council prays over," Shook said. “Next year, some of us will be sitting next to one or two seatmates who will be brand new. While they are going to bring a lot of energy and a lot of new ideas, only a veteran council like this one has learned how and when to come together.”
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