Merit raises included in budget approved by Birmingham council

Merit raises included in budget approved by Birmingham council

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Merit raises for Birmingham police and firefighters are included in the 2015 General Fund Budget that was approved on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video Merit raises for Birmingham police and firefighters are included in the 2015 General Fund Budget that was approved on Tuesday. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Birmingham city councilors have approved a budget that includes merit pay raises for the city's police officers and firefighters.

Around 1,800 city employees will receive their merit increases if they earned them.

The finance committee decided on Monday to include the merit raises in Birmingham's 2015 General Fund Budget on Monday. The city's fiscal year officially starts on July 1.

Mayor William Bell put in $2.5 million for merit raises in 2015, but councilors decided in a 5-4 vote last Thursday to remove the raises from the budget because they already face a $13 million deficit.

After much discussion, a compromise was reached. Birmingham councilors voted 7-1 on Tuesday to approve the budget that included the merit raises.

Councilor Sheila Tyson voted against the budget, but seven other city councilors approved it. Councilor Steven Hoyt was absent from the meeting.

The merit raises are not regular raises, but are merit increases that officers are promised when they join the department. They are based on an officer's performance and continue for about 10 years until an officer reaches his or her full salary at that current position.

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