"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
From the Austin City Council's Message Board:
In reality, the City Manager has proposed a 6% increase in wages/benefits compared with last year.
While I support paying employees a fair wage and benefits, I am also very concerned for the residents of Austin who are paying huge tax bills every year.
Based on the budget questions that have been asked, and information provided by City staff in the “2015-16 Proposed Budget”, the cost of wages and benefits for full-time non-sworn employees will increase from $742,185,898 to $789,814,025. This equates to a 6% increase to the taxpayers.
Here is the breakdown of the proposed FY 2015-16 increases over FY 2014-15:
- $15.2M: 3% across-the-board base wage increase
- $13.4M: Health insurance cost increasing by 12% to $13,140 per employee
- $11.6M: Annualized amount of the “Market Pay Increase” to get the remaining 30% of City employees up to the “Market Rate”
- $4.8M: Addition in contribution to the COAERS pension due to the 3% base wage increase and Market Pay Increase
- $2.1M: Increase in FICA due to the 3% base wage increase and Market Pay Increase
Bottom Line: The first step to fixing a problem is to identify its existence; kudos to Don for crunching these numbers.
I encourage my fellow Council Members to look at the full cost of all these increases that the residents are being asked to give to City employees. With affordability such a major concern to Austinites, requesting a 6% increase is too much.
- $0.5M: Additional amount the City is expecting to give out in Service Incentive Pay (a yearly $500-$1,500 longevity bonus for employees who have been with the City for over 5 years)