Are Montgomery City Employees Receiving a Pay Raise?

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By Jessica Gertler

The Montgomery City Council will take another two weeks to discuss whether it'll make changes to the mayor's proposed budget for next year. Some members want to take out city employee's proposed pay raises.

Some city council members say in this tough economy, Montgomery should be saving its money.

But city employees say not getting a raise would not only hurt them, but their families.

Thousands are employed by the city of Montgomery. Thousands relying on a pay check. Money to feed their families.

"insurance going up. We don't have a cost of living raise," says employee Tim Rousseau.

Rousseau is a father and the sole provider of his family. So when he heard the news that he might not be receiving a merit raise next year, his heart sunk.

"Groceries are going up. Gas is going up. How are you supposed to make it. It's been pretty tough," he says.

Montgomery's city council will take another two weeks to decide whether or not city workers like Rousseau will receive a salary increase next year.

In Mayor Todd Strange's budget plan: every employee, who meets the requirements, will see about a 2.5 percent raise. He's hoping the extra money makes up for the pricier health care.

"They've had to take about $900 annually in increased medical coverage, medical care and deductibles. I think it's only fair we try to restore that," says Strange.

But City Councilman Arch Lee says it would cost $1.5 million to hand out those raises, and that's money he says is needed to rebuild the reserve fund.

"The city employees we've got are great, and there's no doubt, they work hard. But they've gotten raises the last 14-15 years," Lee says.

Rousseau says he'll be waiting on the city's decision, because he says his family could use the help.

The city council will vote on this in their next meeting, which is scheduled for September 18.

The budget also includes one furlough day for employees. Last year, there were three.

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