What started as a proposal to provide a 6% cost of living adjustment for all city employees ended with a unanimously approved motion directing City Manager Reese Goad to bring back a 2021-22 budget that will raise the minimum level of city pay to $15 per hour.
The discussion began with a request by City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow to provide all city employees with a 6% cost of living adjustment in the 2021-22 city budget.
City Manager Reese Goad asked for flexibility in making the adjustment through a change in employee benefits, however, Matlow and Williams-Cox rejected that approach.
The discussion about the pay raise revolved around “making employees whole” due to the negative impacts of the pandemic.
Mayor Dailey and Commissioner Richardson stated they were not comfortable tying the hands of staff and would like to see the impacts of an across the board raise before voting.
However, led by Dianne Williams-Cox, the discussion quickly turned to moving the minimum hourly wage for city employees from the scheduled $13 in the 2021-22 budget to $15 an hour.
Williams-Cox said “let’s go bold into the new world” while stating that the City of Tallahassee is leading on these issues noting the City’s move to make Emancipation Day and Election Day paid holidays for city employees.
City Manager Goad explained the sudden move to $15 a hour is complicated and will have an impact on other employees. He stated if we move the minimum wage to $15 per hour we will have to adjust those employees who are currently make $15-$16 per hour.
However, Commissioner Williams indicated, in her view, it was not necessary to move the pay of other employees.
The 2021-22 proposed city budget is tentatively scheduled to come back before the City Commission on July 7th.