Many City of Atlanta employees are getting a pay raise and a hefty increase in the minimum wage.
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The Atlanta City Council on Wednesday approved a $648.6 million fiscal year 2018 budget that includes a three-percent salary increase for workers making between $41,000 and $150,000.
The minimum wage for municipal employees also is going up starting July 1, from $10.10 an hour to $13 an hour, then to $14 an hour for fiscal year 2019 and eventually to $15 by fiscal year 2020.
Around 360 Atlanta employees will be covered by the initial minimum wage boost, with an estimated 850 workers covered when the increases are fully phased in.
“With this action, we are demonstrating that the City of Atlanta offers competitive employment at all levels, and respects the dignity of all workers,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement.
The council also voted to raise the starting salary for firefighter recruits to $40,000, part of a $2 million commitment that will affect 441 recruits and raise salaries for firefighters with higher levels of experience.
Another measure adopted in the budget is a $5,000 one-time bonus for Atlanta firefighter and police recruits who have completed military service with an honorable discharge or who are on active military reserve duty.
The effort to raise the minimum wage is the result of the city’s work with Atlanta Jobs With Justice, a local non-profit.
“The fight for $15 came to Atlanta through our organization, supporting fast food workers fighting for a livable wage,” said Shannan Reaze, Executive Director of Atlanta Jobs With Justice.
“The courage of those workers told us that Georgia workers everywhere were ready for $15. We are excited to see Atlanta restore its promise to living wages, because more than 1,000 individuals will be pulled out of poverty from this action.”