The Middlesboro City Council sub-committees discussed a possible raise for city employees during the finance and personnel meeting on Tuesday. According to the council members, the employees have not received a raise in at least two years.
No raise was put in the budget for this year, but Middlesboro Mayor Bill Kelley did state at a previous council meeting he plans to look hard at it during the next budget. A raise for city employees cannot go into effect until July 1.
Councilman Doug Hughes stated the employees should receive a raise instead of the yearly bonus of $250. “(A raise) is something they will get every paycheck,” said Hughes.
“It’s expensive to give someone a raise,” said council member Evelyn Farmer about the reasoning behind the lack of a raise. “If you give someone a quarter raise, it’s going to cost you about a dollar.”
Long-time city employees do receive 1 percent longevity pay.
When discussing the different kinds of raises possible for the employees, councilman Ronnie Carter stated he did not like percentage raises.
“If you got a man that is making $20 an hour and you give him a 5 percent raise, he is going to get a whole lot more than the man making $10 an hour,” said Carter.
Carter said he was in favor of giving 25 cents, 50 cents, etc. raises across the board so everyone can get a “cut.”
The committee plans to have a meeting with the mayor and the department heads to discuss a possible raise for the employees in up-coming months.
Councilman Lucas Carter asked a question about the per diem (per day) policy for city employees who may have to travel out of the area on city business. The committee stated employees do have to turn in receipts and are given an allowance they can spend while on the trip.
The employee pays out of pocket while on the trip. Mileage is payed to the employees as well. Carter plans to ask about the full per diem policy at the next city council meeting.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.