Alhambra city workers speak out against lack of raises

Photo by Alhambra Source.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

Alhambra’s city workers claimed they have not received pay increases since 2008 and that the talks are now at an impasse.

Workers were now prepared to ask a mediator to go through city documents to find funds that could finance pay increases, said Xiomara Contreras, president of the employees’ union.

City officials would not comment on the negotiations.

In past negotiations, the city told the union that Alhambra did not have enough money to raise pay, due to the recession and then the disbanding of city redevelopment agencies by Gov. Jerry Brown, said Contreras.

Contreras, a utilities assistant for the city, told the Alhambra Source that the city is again asserting that there is no money to grant raises.

But Contreras said she doubts this, citing a city reorganization that created two assistant city manager positions, as well as one for a utilities director. The city also approved an increased salary range for the public works director. Contreras said that Mayor David Mejia had made a point of how well Alhambra was doing during his State of the City address.

The last significant pay increase that city workers received was 4.5 per cent in 2008. Since then, Contreras said city workers have struggled to keep up with increasing medical insurance premiums and rising living costs.

City workers did receive a 7 per cent increase in compensation in 2015, but Contreras said that 6 per cent of that went to fund their pensions, resulting effectively in only a 1 per cent raise for them.

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