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Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve new contracts with two city unions and also hike pay for city officials to be elected next year.

The deal with the International Associaion of Firefighters provides for a 2 percent pay hike this year and a 2.25 percent increase in 2013.

The firefighters agreement also establishes a new pay rate for new hires 10 percent lower than existing compensation levels.

The agreement also restores time-and-a-half premium pay for six holidays, adjusts the cost to employees of health insurance coverage and provides a $500 fitness bonus to firefighters who pass a seven-step test.

The deal with AFSCME, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, which represents most non-public safety employees, calls for a 2.5 percent pay increase this year and a 1.75 percent increase in 2013.

The AFSCME deal also creates a new pay rate for new hires 4.2 percent lower than existing compensation levels, restores previously impose furlough days and changes worker costs for health insurance coverage.

The aldermen are also scheduled to approve 2 percent pay increases over each of the next four years for elected city and township officials.

Those increases were recommended earlier this summer by a compensation committee of residents appointed by the mayor.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. No pay increase for council members or Mayor

    The council members and Mayor are not full time employees, they are chosing to do this job, it is not their full time job.

    While Wally will be telling you this year things are good with the budget, don't believe it. The unions appear to have come in line with Wallys  budget, thus he may not have to cut this year. But there are major problems here that have not gone away.  At the same time the council and Mayor are contining to waste money on pet projects and not use resources wisely to run the city.

    Tonight they will approve emergency repair funds of almost 2 miillion dollars to fix the water lines on Central Street in one area,  The fact is there are miles of water lines,close to 100 years old they have not replaces.  Remember they have been stealing 3 million a year from the water fund, and taking it to the general fund. 

    Wait until the middle of winter some year when lines break, or for that matter when theres a fire downtown and the pumps in a highraise go on and the lines break.

    Also tonight the Mayors pet project the clinic will be approved in the basement , we all know this is not a ZERO cost item for the tax payers, maybe the mayor can not take a pay raise, since it is my guess they will be wasting at least $100,000 on this newest misadventure.  Alls good with giving them a $1 a year rent.

  2. Just woke up to this bad news

    I just woke up, got a glass of orange juice, and instead of getting my 4 kids off to school, i'm heading to work after reading this article and writing this note.

    What on earth justifies this salary increase in the face of one of the worst economic situations of all time? Haven't the alderman seen the latest unemployment numbers, the people who are underemployed, and the increasing rate of poverty? – now ~ 1 out of 7 Americans live in poverty.

    Yet, we're going to give pay raises which compound and grow. The Firefirefighters agreement calls for a 4.3% increase over 2 years. And can you believe that the pay level for NEW firefighters is 10% LOWER. It's the young people who start at the low end of the pay scale who need a little extra pay, similar to starting teachers. What about the veterans who are making $50,000 and higher? Where's their sacrifice?

    And you gotta love the $500 fitness bonus! Isn't that part of their job, to be physically fit to handle the work? What about a $500 PENALTY for not meeting the requirements, and if they're woefully out of shape, getting demoted or can i say the word that's used in the private sector, FIRED?

    My income has DECLINED 20% over the last five years, but who cares about me. Look at the typical American worker. Data released on August 23rd shows that household income is DOWN 4.8% since the "economic recovery" began, from June 2009 to June 2012. Here's the report:

    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/blog/Sentier_PressRelease_PostRecessionaryHouseholdIncomeChange_June09toJune12_08_23_12.pdf

    Of course you can measure different time periods and get different results. From December 2007 to June 2012, median household income is DOWN 7.2%. Yet public sector contracts continue to call for consistent pay raises over the last decade and into the foreseeable future. Can't wait to see the details for both D202 and D65 contracts.

    And all this is even before one mentions their guaranteed pensions.

    Enough for now, gotta go to work.

    1. ‘What on earth justifies this’

      "What on earth justifies this salary increase in the face of one of the worst economic situations of all time?"

      =============================

      You must have been born very recently or have not read of the 1930s or all the other times in our history that makes this—as bad as it is—look like a cake walk.

  3. Sewers and Water

    "Tonight they will approve emergency repair funds of almost 2 miillion dollars to fix the water lines on Central Street in one area,  The fact is there are miles of water lines,close to 100 years old they have not replaces.  Remember they have been stealing 3 million a year from the water fund, and taking it to the general fund."

    =================================

    Remember all those years that the city raised the water rates 5-10% saying they needed this to repair/replace the sewers ?   What happened ?  Now they are claiming they have to major replacements—I'm sure more rate increases are coming—while taking the existing funds and give them to other departments.  Sounds like taking from taxpayers and giving to Peter and Paul—Peter gives to Paul and then demands the taxxpayers cover his gift.

  4. The flip side.

    I'm not for or against these specific pay raises.  But, generally speaking, I do support the concept of decent pay for local elected officials.  Yes, it may not (and is not intended) to be their full time job, but for some people (maybe not those on the council now), the time it takes to be a local elected official may mean they are unable to work as many hours at another job.  Theoretically, let's say you are a cleaning person (you clean people's houses) — say you have the potential to clean 100 homes a month and you need that money to support your family — to run for Alderman, you figure you will only have the time to clean 60 homes a month — well, that person may not be able to run for Alderman unless they are compensated, at least partially, for the loss in income.  One can say, well, that person shouldn't run for Alderman then — but then you create a system where only the wealthier get to run and hold office and the views of less wealthy (which likely includes a disproportianted number of minorities) are not heard.  

    1. Aldermen per resident

      Maybe we need to again cut the number of aldermen—and their associated staff.  Then maybe we will have fewer people to make gifts to their wards and friends.

      Chicago has an alderman for every 54,000 residents.   Evanston has one for every 8,800.  Surely Chicago has more issues to deal with than Evanston, yet Evanston needs more aldermen to do its work ?

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