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Pima County raising pay for gov’t workers to keep up with inflation
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Pima County raising pay for gov’t workers to keep up with inflation

Supes vote 3-2 in favor of wage increases

Pima County government employees will be getting raises this July to account for cost-of-living increases.

The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to award the raises according to a graded system.

The two opposing votes came from Supervisor Matt Heinz, who represents District 2 in South Side Tucson and Sahuarita, and Supervisor Steve Christy, the lone Republican on the board, who represents in  District 4 covering Vail and Eastern Pima County. Neither spoke on the item at the meeting Tuesday .

The breakdown for the raises is:

  • 1% raises for employees making $150,001 or more per year, which is a minimum increase of about $1,500
  • 3% raises for employees making between $75,001 and $150,000 per year, which is a minimum increase of $2,250
  • 5% raise for employees making between $35,001 and $75,000 a year, which is a minimum increase of $1,750
  • 8.5% raise for employees making $35,000 or less, which is a minimum increase of $2,975.

The raises will cost the county $690,000. The county budget was also finalized at the Tuesday meeting.

Employees must be hired before July 1, 2022 to be eligible for the raise. The new wages will be reflected in the July 16 check, after the first pay period.

The city of Tucson also gave their municipal employees a $2,013 across-the-board raise. The fixed-dollar raise amounts to a 3% increase of city salaries, on average, but for lower paid employees, it’s worth a larger percentage of their pay. Tucson Firefighters will get a 3% raise instead of the fixed dollar amount in order to maintain their pay grades.

The city was trying to award equitable raises giving lower employees a bigger boost than higher paid employees. Tucson Police, however, want to arbitrate the raise, saying it’s not competitive enough.

Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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