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To the editor:
All we have is
our word. And without it, what are we?
For three weeks, the Lincoln City Council gave every indication it
would provide pay raises of $4,183 to its non-union clerical city
employees. From the beginning, it was made clear the City of Lincoln
had enough revenue to cover the pay increases without strain to the
City’s finances. In fact, the City’s next budget still features
decreased overall spending by $500,000!
Every step to advance the pay increases passed without objection
from the Council. Then, when the night came to formally approve the
raises, concerns were finally raised about the amount of the pay
increases. The Council then approved a measure that would reduce the
pay raises by almost 40%, to $2,500 annually.
While one Alderman raised concerns residents in his Ward 4 were
“fuming” over the raises, I myself am a Ward 4 resident who is
fuming at the City of Lincoln backing out of its promise to its
hard-working clerical workers. Thankfully, Mayor Welch issued a
veto last Friday on the reduced pay raise measure. In his veto,
the mayor wrote that he had also talked with constituents whose
collective message is clear: keep the original raises as intended.
Concerns about the raises should have been voiced earlier in the
budgeting process instead of waiting until the budget’s proverbial
finish line. Instead, City workers have heard the Council’s message
loud and clear: you are not worth the raises we planned for you.
If the City treats its own employees with a last-minute switch like
this, why should any businesses look to open in or work with
Lincoln? This switch will only harm the City of Lincoln’s reputation
and ability to improve in the future. With a
population 10% less now compared to 2010, local leadership needs
to reaffirm that Lincoln is a city that treats its residents with
respect and appreciation.
[to top of second column in this letter]
Fully reinstating the original pay raises to its
non-union clerical positions would be a wonderful place to start. I
urge the Lincoln City Council to do the right thing and do just
Related Articles and
Letters to the Editor:
City council share heated exchanges before
reaching a compromise on non-union salary increases
MAYOR TRACY WELCH VETOES COUNCIL DECISION
LETTER TO LINCOLN ALDERMEN - PDF
“I vetoed a portion of the resolution because I strongly believe
that we have a responsibility to ensure that ALL employees who
work for the city receive a fair and equitable wage. These
salary increases were included in the budget, which was
unanimously passed, and it is my hope that the council can pass
a new resolution that closes the wage gap that still exists for
our non-union clerical employees. The right thing to do isn’t
always the easiest thing to do!” - Mayor Tracy Welch
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
May 8, 2023]
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