05/19/09 60 W - + 12 - 14 Budgets

Cities and counties are announcing their proposed budgets for Fiscal Year 2010. Parsing for fire, EMS, and other public safety spending forthcoming. Here are some links:

The budget for the City of Raleigh is not to bad, there is no layoffs. There is one thing that I have a problem with and that is we(city employees) are taking a 2.5% loss in our anual pay raise, but the City manager got a $10,000 dollar pay raise. I do agree that we are in tough economy and that we may have to get less of a raise, but when the top man gets a $10,000 dollar raise that kinda makes you wonder. He has been good to the fire dept., but come on man. That is like a slap in the face!
firebugg - 05/19/09 - 21:51

True, I see your point bugg. Some guys that are topped out and only get a range adjustment every year won’t get a thing except their longevity, which is still pretty nice I guess because they’re on the “old system”. I think the ones’ that will be getting screwed the most are your 10-15 year folks that are almost topped out (low raise for merit) and are on the new system for longevity (1%/2%).

After reading the capital improvement budget, I don’t know if I should be excited or just shrug it off as all proposals and “no big deal”. Can you interpret? My brain is moosh after reading it! What’s definitely coming to this city and what are just dreams????

Could be worse, I guess they could be taking money from us like the state employees.

Anyone think this might change morale a little? I mean, you’re only eligible for a 1% raise (for an “outstanding”), does that mean you’ll be a 1% employee? Work load is going up with this new pre-plan system, and pay raises are going down. And now they’re expecting you to work your butt off on weekends to get this done????
Anonymous4reason - 05/19/09 - 22:04

We have a job. There are many who would kill to be in our position. We have time to find part-time jobs to supplement income with other skills. We have gained skills and certifications to work part-time in related fields. There are many cities and local governments who are in worse shape. I don’t think you will find but a handful that are in better shape than Raleigh. I am not saying roll over an just accept everything but we are grunts in a government system. Voice your opinion, get together, go to the council as a united front but just remember that we are no where near as bad as shape as others. There are alot of things going on that I don’t agree with but your choices are limited: you can fight it and try to help find solutions, you can accept it and do the best you can, or you can quit and try to find something better. As far as the City Manager goes, I would not want his job, it would be a nice jesture to turn down his raise, but would you?
gen3fire - 05/20/09 - 10:28

Being the city manager I think that I would. I say that now, but I am not in that position. You say alot of things that you would do, but when you are in that position you may do stuff differently. So to be honest I do not know what I would do. I would like to think that if your city employees get four percent max. that he could drop back to four persent instead of five.
firebugg - 05/20/09 - 23:39

I want to add a thank you to Mike Legeros for providing us with the budget break down. Because I have read the proposed budget from front to back and cannot find a break down of what the fire department is getting, but Mike always does! Mike where do you get this information?
firebugg - 05/20/09 - 23:43

For the Raleigh information, select/major spending in the General Operating budget is listed as Highlighted Budget Changes. In prior budget years, the lists have been longer. This year, only a couple things are listed, including replacement for two engines. Looking across the entire budget document, all departments list relatively few Highlighted Budget Changes. Spending is tighter/the tightest this year, duh.

A complete list of everything is NOT what these public-facing documents are intended to provide, as I discovered many years ago.
Legeros - 05/21/09 - 06:09

Mike, can you provide just a break down for operating and capital improvements of “here’s what you’re getting”? I think you did it one time before, seemed to sum things up and make things clear, rather than cause rumor.
Silver - 05/22/09 - 11:31

Here’s what I glean from the documents, regarding the FY10 Raleigh Fire Department budget and the listed operating and capital expenses:


Legeros - 05/23/09 - 10:12

What’s the story with the purchasing of 800mhz base stations for firehouses? Anyone from 911 answer that?
Silver - 05/24/09 - 12:09

If you look at the economic indicators for our area, we’ve actually been in a period of deflation in most consumer costs, which means we’re actually subject to a minus cost of living raise (interpreted to mean we would be giving back a certain percentage based on the argument that gained us cost of living increases). Ok, so we are only have the chance for a 1% raise. The County has already told the EMS folks there will be ZERO raises next year, so as Gen3Fire said so well “We have a job”
Not Complaining - 05/25/09 - 12:31

“Not complaining”, while I’m not going to argue that things are on the decline and I’m happy to have a job too, you need to have your facts straight before you make such a ridiculously uneducated statement.

Last year, I did a cost of living raise analysis for our union. The last time the city received a true “cost of living raise” was 1998/1999. If you wanted to consider the “range adjustment” that’s given every year a “cost of living raise” (but it isn’t), when compared to the actual consumer price index rate of increase since 1998/1999, we (city firemen) were BEHIND between 9% and 11%.

Rather than trying to look like a hero by just saying “I’m happy to have a job”, get your facts together and maybe you’ll realize that you’ve been getting more and more behind every year. Since you didn’t leave your name, I don’t know how many years you have on, so I can’t tell you how far behind you are. E-mail me and I’ll share that info with you.

Stay safe….
Silver (Email) - 05/25/09 - 13:52

Every one knows the negative of this budget year. Unless I misunderstood the proposal i believe (in the city) that you can earn more than 1%. They took away the range adjustment and subtract 1% from your merit increase. It effects the people who are in the higher quartiles more. New firefighters will get more of an increase percentage wise. Now, 1 thing i am very grateful for is that they did not take away our longevity. Even though i am under the newer system (1%, 2%)it is nice to get that 2% at the end of the year which benefits the longer term employees more. If they let me keep longevity for the rest of my 17 years then i can miss 1% or 2% for one year if we come out of the recession soon. If they were to take longevity then there is a very good chance you will never see it again.

To mess with Silver a little; I am HAPPY to have my job!

Military, Fire, Police, EMS and all others who sacrifice there lives for others will never be paid enough for their sacrifice! Most do it willingly hoping that they make a difference in people’s lives which is priceless. Special thanks to all of our veterans and all of our service men and women and their families who made the ultimate sacrifice for us to have the opportunity to raise our complaints about…well anything.
God bless you all and stay safe.

gen3fire - 05/25/09 - 15:39

I’m HAPPY too, KC (see my first sentence)!!!!
Silver - 05/25/09 - 23:50

Cost of living raise, what’s that? I haven’t seen one of those in years. I have only seen the firefighters start out at a higher and higher salary while that increase hasn’t been spread across the board.
Mike - 05/26/09 - 08:49

Silver - 05/26/09 - 08:52

Compression is what I’ve heard it called. Had the same thing happen at a previous job here in wake county. Eventually, the new hires were making more than a FF who had been there 3 years. Sparked alot of fuss, but they fixed it (granted only separated by 50-100 bucks). These things are often forgotten or not caught in the wash between upper mgmt and HR. Especially when there havent been any cost of living or merit bonuses for 2-3 years, yet starting salaries are kept “competitive”.
JBoggs (Email) - 05/27/09 - 08:20

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