Atlanta city employees, firefighters get pay bump in FY 2018 budget

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Atlanta city employees, firefighters get pay bump in FY 2018 budget

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Atlanta firefighters will get a bump in starting wages in the city’s $648.6 million fiscal 2018 budget. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM

The Atlanta City Council on Wednesday approved the city’s $648.6 million fiscal 2018 budget, including a bump in the minimum wage for city employees, a 3 percent raise for all employees except those making $150,000 and above, and an increase in the starting salaries for firefighters.

Beginning next month, the minimum pay for city employees will rise from $10.10 an hour to $13 an hour and increase to $14 an hour in fiscal 2019. That compares to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and $5.15 an hour in Georgia.

The council aims to decide how much to pay their workers by July 1.

Atlanta firefighters will see their starting pay increase to $40,000 annually for those with as little as no experience to those with 10 years of service. Firefighters with 11 to 15 years of experience will have a beginning salary of $43,428 a year while those with 15 years or more will begin at $46,856.

“Today we sent a strong message to all of our employees that their hard work is appreciated,” City Council President Ceasar Mitchell said in a release.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed the minimum wage for city workers won’t stop at $14. It will increase in fiscal 2020 to $15, a number that many wage advocates have pressed mayors of large cities and corporations to adopt as a minimum standard to survive in today’s economy.

“I am proud to announce today that the city of Atlanta has raised its minimum wage to $13 per hour, effective July 1, and will increase to $15 per hour over the next two fiscal years,” Reed said. “With this action, we are demonstrating that the city of Atlanta offers competitive employment at all levels, and respects the dignity of all workers. I am also pleased to raise the starting salary for our firefighters, who set the standard for professional fire departments in our state.”

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