Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Wilmington City Council members skeptical of proposed pay increases

A vote on pay increases for non-union employees will likely be on the agenda at the Wilmington City Council’s next meeting. The proposal comes from Mayor Dennis Williams (D), but there is some opposition from City Council.

The proposed change would include a two percent pay raise for non union members and a one-time payment of $2,000 for each year they’ve been with the city since 2013.

Alex Coppadge, a spokesperson for the Mayor’s office, says the extra money will attract better job candidates. In an email to Delaware Public Media, she said the proposed pay raise isn’t a bonus, but a cost of living adjustment.  “Non-union employees have not had a cost of living adjustment since 2008,” she wrote.

But Bud Freel, who chairs the Finance Committee, is afraid the city may not have the extra money to spend.


"They said that they were going to use what they believe will be a budget surplus for fiscal year 2016, but I don’t count the budget surplus until the end of the year, when you actually balance your books and you show whether you have a deficit or a surplus," said Freel


Freel adds the timing confused him as well.

"One of the concerns is that the administration is in the middle of negotiations with the four other unions, and they have not come to an agreement, and I just find it unusual that we would be offering the non-union employees something at this time," says Freel.

In the past, he says, unionized employees negotiated a plan which was then replicated for everyone else.

The proposal is now out of committee, and could be voted on as soon as October 15th.