Mayor Kasim Reed Signs Atlanta Employee Pay Raises into Law

Mayor Kasem Reed. (Photo by joshzpate, Creative Commons License)
Mayor Kasem Reed. (Photo by joshzpate, Creative Commons License)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has signed into law a 3.5 percent pay raise for nearly three thousand City of Atlanta employees. The legislation was sponsored by Councilmember C.T. Martin and passed with an 11-1 vote. The Reed Administration has consistently made significant investments in employee compensation and benefits. In the midst of the worst economic recession in 80 years, his administration eliminated furloughs and layoffs citywide, built the largest fire department to date and eliminated staffing shortages on fire trucks, brought the city’s police force to 2,000 officers for the first time in the department’s history, and restored command staff at the city jail.

Mayor Kasim Reed’s 2016 spending plan includes about $28 million in extra funds over last year without dipping into city savings.

“I am committed to addressing the compensation needs of city employees, including police and fire personnel, in a thoughtful and fiscally responsible way,” Mayor Reed was quoted by a press release as saying. “The City of Atlanta is in the strongest financial position in more than a decade, and because of this financial stability, nearly three thousand of our hard-working employees will take home a paycheck that reflects their contributions and accomplishments.”

The city strives to offer a competitive wage based on market data and has given six pay increases since 2010. In 2010, all employees earning less than $75,000 received a one-time bonus of $450, except for sworn employees of the Atlanta Police and Fire Departments who received a 3 percent increase. In 2011, all Police and Fire sworn personnel received a full step pay increase of 3.5 percent for the first time since 2007. In 2012, the Atlanta City Council voted to increase the salary of all current employees earning less than 80 percent of the midpoint of their pay range; the increase invested more than half a million dollars in compensation and affected 488 employees. In 2013, a 3 percent increase was provided to all classified employees, and to all Department of Corrections employees; Police and Fire personnel as well as employees earning $60,000 or less received a 1 percent increase. Last year, another .5 percent increase was provided to those same employees.

Earlier this year, Mayor Reed signed into law legislation to ensure all women employees receive equal pay for equal work and recently announced that the city will offer paid family leave for both care giver and non-care giver employees – making Atlanta the first municipal government in the metropolitan region to offer this benefit. In addition, the City of Atlanta has raised the minimum wage for city employees and today, every full-time employee earns more than $10.10/hr. The City has received a perfect score on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index earning distinction as top employer for LGBTQ workers, and has been named one of “Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by The National Association for Business Resources (NABR) for four consecutive years.

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