Council approves city employee raise freeze

December 15, 2009

More than one-fifth of approximately 1,995 Akron city employees will not receive raises next year, eliminating $500,000 from the city’s 2010 budget as it works to keep costs contained under tight budget restraints.

Council Monday night passed an ordinance which cancels the typical 2.5 percent pay raises to 373 non-bargaining, management and unclassified city workers – including members of Akron City Council.

Budget and Finance Committee Chair Tina Merlitti said raises for this group were not budgeted for next year, but if Council had not approved the legislation to freeze them, the city would have had to find some way to pay.

“Last year the 2.5 percent raises would have cost $500,000,” Merlitti (W-7) said. “We are not adding $500,000 to the city’s budget to offer pay increases to these employees next year.”

City Council over the summer voluntarily returned its 2.5 percent pay increase out of consideration for a then estimated budget deficit of as much as $8 million. Council in October also volunteered to forego two hours of weekly pay for nine weeks, saving the city $3,600 through Nov. 27.