Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell calls for the City to recommit to paying its employees a living wage to lift its full time employees above poverty wages and longevity pay to retain experienced long time workers.
First, President Mitchell is calling for the Atlanta City Council to “raise the floor” at City Hall, and adopt a $15 Living Wage for all city employees. The city began its efforts to pay a Living Wage in the early 2000s, but since that time has fallen short of implementation.
“Today I am calling for a new pact. A new promise. A promise to fight to make $15 the new floor at City Hall! Raising the minimum wage for city employees helps lift families out of poverty, helps keep kids in school, keeps families together and strengthens our communities,” Council President Mitchell said. “Paying workers a living wage makes Atlanta a better community,”
“When we pay more, we get more. We get workers who stay longer, who know more about the city and how it works. It changes a job into a career, and makes workers care about their future with the city. This makes them more accountable to you, the people they serve,” he said.
As such, Council President Mitchell will also address the issue of longevity pay. This plan came out of the Employee Compensation Technical Advisory Group that the Council President convened and led. The longevity bonuses were intended to have been an annual incentive, but were mysteriously omitted in the FY18 Budget.
These are bonus payments for long term employees of the city — those who have been employed with the City for 10 years or more. The entire fiscal impact is roughly $860,000, and like the $1,000,000 commitment recently made to the arts community, will not put public safety or other critical city operations at risk. In fact, this investment in the city workforce will enhance morale and productivity.
“I led this effort and we passed a plan to reward and keep our best people working hard for our city. Whether that be the sergeant in the police force who has developed the relationships in the neighborhoods he patrols, or the fireman who knows the best routes to get to a fire; having people who know how to do the job matters to Atlantans,” Mitchell said. “Hard working city employees have made a commitment to the city. They are the reason that our city is successful. We need to deliver on our commitment to them.
“We further must retain our employees who have the experience and the knowledge to get things done for the residents of this city,” said Mitchell. “Paying our employees a living wage is key to delivering the services our residents deserve.”