Evanston’s City Council is scheduled Monday to approve a new contract with AFSCME that will raise workers’ pay 21% over its four year term.

Workers covered by the contract will get an immediate 11% increase retroactive to Jan. 1 and 3% increases in each of the next three years.

Given the impact of compounding, that will raise their pay by 21.3% by the final year of the pact.

The workers will also get a one-time bonus of $1,250 upon ratification of the pact.

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, which represents most of the city’s non-public safety employees, was the last of the four city employee unions to reach agreement on a new contract with the city.

The International Association of Fire Fighters agreement, reached in April, provides similar pay increases of 11%, 3%, 3% and 3% each year.

Agreements with the Fraternal Order of Police, reached in January, provided larger pay hikes increases.

Patrol officers receive boosts of 18%, 3%, 3% and 3%, a compound increase of nearly 29% over the four year term.

Sergeants receive increases of 14%, 4%, 4% and 4%, a compound increase of over 28%.

City officials have justified the large hikes in the first year of the contract based on a report from the Baker Tilly consulting firm last fall that concluded most city workers were substantially underpaid.

The increased pay scales are among the factors that have the city facing a potential $20 million general fund deficit by 2025.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Here’s idea: put the $3M set foolishly aside for participatory budgeting (aka fiscal irresponsibility) and deal with real issues like the projected budget deficit.

    Reasonable and data-based raises for city workers are important, but when will the Evanston City Council be a group of responsible adults? This is not DisneyWorld or some ant farm for Devon Reid to CONTINUE to propose ridiculous ideas and waste everyone’s precious time. We are a community that needs thoughtful and responsible leadership that makes hard decisions.

  2. Now is time to also consider an increased stipend for the EV Council. Is State or County regulation controlling EV payment to our Alders? They investigate for days and weeks within the City and externally before making a final decision on such a multitude of Committee proposals at numerous meetings (often directing salaried employees). However, if Council feels power of decision-making and community contribution to numerous projects and meetings satisfactory, I am respectfully humbled and appreciate your service.

    1. Each Council sets the pay of the Council that will succeed it after the next election. The jobs of alderperson and mayor have always been considered to be part-time positions with part-time pay. But some members of the current Council have indicated they are open to the idea of giving the next Council what most Evanstonians would consider to be full-time salaries. Whether such a measure would get the backing of a council majority is unclear.
      — Bill

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