As inflation impacts wallets across the nation, city workers in Selma have gone on strike demanding higher pay.
Close to 65 employees with the city cemetery, recreation and public works departments are refusing to return to work without a raise in wages.
“Nine dollars an hour, that’s not enough to take care of four kids in the current economy that we have,” Landfill Secretary Lashone Edwards told Alabama News Network (ANN).
The city is currently in talks to finalize its budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Already, the city council rejected a version containing across-the-board raises as proposed by Mayor James Perkins Jr. in July.
Instead, the council recommended a budget with raises focused on underpaid employees.
“The majority of them are getting a raise,” Council President Billy Young told ANN. “The folks at the bottom, the $9, $10, $11 people. And then the CDL folks are getting a raise to $15.”
As of June, the city’s fund balance was $5.6 million. The mayor’s proposed budget would have given a 5% increase to some of the lowest paid employees and included an increase in minimum pay up to $12 per hour, $13 per hour for administrative assistants and $16 for heavy-duty equipment operators.
The city council has until the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1 to approve a budget.
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