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Faced with police departures and the threat of more, Raleigh city council members agreed Tuesday to raise salaries for sworn officers, uniformed firefighters and other underpaid city employees, to the tune of $8.5 million in pay increases (some as much as 13.25 percent) through July 2018.
The vote came after the presentation of a study of eighty-four cities’ employee pay levels, with Raleigh coming in only a touch on the low side, by 1.6 percent. But persistent responses from law enforcement and fire workers that an average salary wasn’t good enough appeared to speak loudly to the board. Both starting police and firefighters will receive raises that will result in, among other things, a starting level of $40,000 annually for police.
Human Resources Manager Steve Jones notes that it was unusual to hike salaries with work far from complete on the next budget year, which starts in July, but says it is time for Raleigh to walk in step with other large markets.
“Our last true market analysis more than 13 years ago,” Jones says.…