When a city has a city manager running the city (Council-Manager form), the salaries of the council and mayor are usually less. Not so in Tacoma. It must be because Tacoma is the only city in the state that doles out annual pay raises of 2.75% every year in January. So, on January 1, 2016 the council will receive a pay raise of $1,322 for the year and $2,643 more for the mayor. All these huge percentage increases while Local Union 17 with the city is giving 0% in 2015 and 1% in 2016 and a quarter percent for 2017 and 2018.
Not only that, the city council is behind the $12 minimum wage issue known as Prop. 1B on the November ballot and that proposal wants to tell business owners in Tacoma that they must raise the minimum wage of $9.75 to $10.35 an hour in February 2016. This means that a full-time worker would receive a pay increase of $1,248. Remember, the council and mayor are defined by the charter as “part time” positions, with full time benefits. So, there seems to be a pay increase discrepancy having the lowest paid workers in Tacoma receiving the lowest increases.
On top of the 2.75% annual pay raise, now we have a Citizen Salary Commission responsible for making recommendations for salaries for the council and mayor.
Let us hope that the citizen commissioners will remember they are citizens first and need to remember the council and mayor are simply workers like the rest of the city workers and should be given the same percentage increases as the union workers are receiving, but only after the salaries are reduced to a more reasonable amount for part time workers.