Tuesday, October 21, 2003

13,000 City Employees - 23 Get Raises - Dallas at its Best

DallasNews.com | Dallas-Fort Worth | Local News: "Some at City Hall got raise
Attorney's, auditor's offices gave pay boosts despite council's freeze

02:53 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 21, 2003
By COLLEEN McCAIN NELSON / The Dallas Morning News
Dallas City Council members thought they had made themselves clear when they decided in recent years that civilian employees would not receive pay raises.
So the council was surprised to learn that 23 workers in four departments have been taking home fatter paychecks.
During the last three budget cycles, the cash-strapped council has reluctantly agreed to forgo salary increases for the city's civilian employees. City Manager Ted Benavides, who supervises the vast majority of the city's 13,000 workers, has adhered to the council's directive.
But the city attorney, the city auditor, the employee retirement fund and the police and fire pension department have approved pay hikes during the last fiscal year for some of their employees, city officials said Monday. The raises, which total about $100,000 annually, ranged from 3 percent to almost 37 percent, according to the Human Resources Department.
Of the 23 employees who saw their salaries increase, 14 work for City Attorney Madeleine Johnson and two work for the city auditor.
Ms. Johnson was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment. City Auditor Thomas M. Taylor also could not be reached for comment.
Council members said they were surprised and frustrated to learn that their wishes had not been honored.
'I don't think the council would have thought to ask any of the department heads, 'Are you giving merit raises?' ' Mayor Laura Miller said. 'Everyone understood that they weren't going to get a raise if they're a civilian.'

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