Compromise could restore merit raises for Birmingham police and - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Compromise could restore merit raises for Birmingham police and fire

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A Birmingham city spokesperson says if it's approved, a newly proposed budget will restore merit raises.

A final budget is expected to be approved by the full council Tuesday.

"We all agree that the employees are the back bone of City government. We have had unprecedented success in reducing crime, economic development and positive growth. It was important to find a solution that allowed us to maintain that momentum," said Mayor William Bell in a press release.

"After revisiting the proposed budget, I am very happy that the Mayor and I were able to come up with a solution to put the merit increases back in the budget," said Council President Johnathan Austin in a press release. "These type of collaborations between the council and the mayor are exactly what the city needs to continue to move forward."

Mayor William Bell put in $2.5 million for merit raises in 2015, but councilors decided in a 5-4 vote Thursday to remove the raises from the budget because they already face a $13 million deficit.

Approximately 1,800 city employees are eligible for merit raises.

The merit raises are not regular raises, but are merit increases that officers are promised when they join the department. They are based on an officer's performance and continue for about 10 years until an officer reaches his or her full salary at that current position.

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