Thursday, May 13, 2010

City employees can do without raises

Posted By on Thu, May 13, 2010 at 9:45 AM

The Charlotte Observer reports today that raises for city employees could be cut to help out elsewhere — like the library system or the bleak Mecklenburg Schools budget.

Considering about 500 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers got preliminary layoff notices yesterday, I think this is a good idea.

Although the city isn't responsible for funding libraries or CMS, certainly the city can't justify increasing the pay for its employees when other entities that support the community have to lay off people. Shouldn't we be working together?

To borrow a phrase from Family Guy's Peter, it really grinds my gears when cutting teachers is the first thing on the checklist when the budget falls short. That's why so many kids can't write nowadays — we don't have enough teachers in the classroom to take the time to point out the difference between "YOUR" and "YOU'RE." Come on people.

Yes, I know not getting a raise sucks. Trust me, I know. But that's $6.1 million the city can funnel elsewhere — and when I mean elsewhere, I mean possibly toward CMS or to the library system. We need to think about the community as a whole, and not just a group of people who, by the way, are still blessed to have a job.

One proponent for giving city employees a pay increase on the City Council is Democrat Nancy Carter. According to the Observer story, "She's worried that their cost of living is going up, due to having to pay higher health insurance premiums.

Really? So what about all the people who are going to lose their jobs? How are they going to pay their health insurance premiums? Better yet, how are they going to pay their mortgages and car payments and put food on the table?

Through these tumultous economic times, those of us still blessed with jobs have learned to live without a pay increase. I think city employees can do the same.

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