Despite Evanston’s budget crunch, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz will recommend a 2 percent pay hike for non-union city workers at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Human Resources Director Joellen Daley, in a memo to Bobkiewicz, says the pay hike would match one approved by the council last spring for city workers represented by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.

Daley says the increase is needed to provide parity for union and non-union workers and to offer a financial incentive for union workers to accept promotion into non-union management positions.

Daley says the increase, retroactive to March 30, would cost $282,000, and was included in the budget adopted last February.

The city now finds itself trying to close a $4 million gap in its budget for this year and anticipates an $8 million gap between projected revenues and expenses for next year.

About 230 city workers would benefit from the pay hike.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Understandable
    I’m sure all of the taxpayers who have lost their jobs or had reductions in pay and benefits over the past year will understand that city employees greatly deserve these raises. Clearly, the compensation of these city workers should not be subject to the whims of “the economy”, “budget shortfalls” or “supply and demand” because the services they provide are quite frankly invaluable. Anyone not able to comprehend that must have a screw loose.

    I’m just wondering why the city didn’t give them larger raises and more benefits because they are doing such a swell job!

    1. You need to face reality
      While the 2% increase is small – bottomline the city does not have the funds, but then again the council will waste $250,000 on something else.

      Bottomline next year between 30 to 60 employees will get let go – so they can enjoy their 2% increase for now, it will include police and firefighters.

      We are all subject to the whims of the economy – so I do not understand your logic?

  2. Evanston jobless rate creeps up
    Evanston jobless rate creeps up

    That’s another article on this site. The Evanston jobless rate is now 7.6 percent, compared to 4.9 percent a year ago.

    Given this information, as well as the other economic news that we all know is negative, how can the City justify no layoffs and a pay raise?

    I was hopeful about the new City Manager. I was hopeful that he would bring a dose of reality to the clueless individuals who have been running the City operations for years and who think of the residents as the City ATMs.

    The City of Evanston needs to be run like a business. That means that, for every issue, financial considerations must be assessed first.

    The City of Evanston must abandon its fuzzy logic and fuzzy math if we want a diversity of incomes to be able to live here. On our current course, middle-income residents are being priced out of this town. But does City Hall care?

    1. Whose fuzzzy logic?
      That’s right, the best way to solve job losses in Evanston is to layoff some workers at the City.

      Guess what, those people who work at the City are also “middle-income residents who are being priced out of town.”

      This raise was a cost of living increase for LAST YEAR promised by the past City Manager but never paid out. I think it shows that our new City Manager is a man who honors commitments to his staff. Maybe that means will be a better, happier, and more hard-working workforce at the City, instead of a bunch of angry disgruntled employees.

      Or maybe we should do what you want – underpay them and throw them out on their ears. Sure, that’ll keep ’em happy and working hard for us taxpayers.

  3. I was shocked at first that
    I was shocked at first that anyone was getting a raise in this economy but you have to realize a couple of things:

    1. The union raises were negotiated with the unions before Wally’s watch. Already happened.

    2. These raises are for the non-union workers to match the union. This is a smart move because it eliminates any incentive for non-union workers to move to union jobs or disincentive for vice versa. It also removes a reason for the non-union workers to unionize, if they can. Once the union workers got the increase, the non-unions had to get the same.

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