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Wilm. City Council tables proposed pay increase for non union city employees

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

The Wilmington City Council voted to table an ordinance that would raise salaries for non union employees by two percent Thursday night.

The raise, which would also include a one time bonus of between $2,000 and $4,000 would cost the city around $1.4 million.

City council officials say they are worried about Wilmington’s financial outlook in the near future. Councilman Mike Brown cited a three percent permanent cost of living increase for police and three lawsuits against the city as cash drains.

Councilman Bud Freel, who has questioned the timing of this proposal as union employees are in the middle of contract negotiations, said he didn’t feel comfortable accepting city’s projected surplus at face value.

"I’m not even saying I’m opposed to making some increases for employees. But I’d really like to understand the full ramifications of those increases and I’d really like to have some more discussions of the revenue projections," Freel said.

The Wilmington Economic Financial Committee, which gives the Council financial forecasts, will meet in the third week of this month. Council member Maria Cabrera said it would be best to wait until after then to vote the pay increases up or down.

"Because our biggest issue here is fiscal responsibility, and by the end of December we’re going to be halfway through our budget. I would feel much better if this were happening in December or January, where then we know where we stand with a projected budget," Cabrera said.

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