UPDATE: Reaction To Wage Freeze For Greenville City Workers

One Greenville Utilities worker says if it means keeping his job, he's all for the wage freeze the city implemented Thursday.

Steve Turner says, "I'm grateful to have a job. And like I say, ya know, there's been a lot of people that has been cut out of jobs, don't have jobs, or having to take pay cuts."

The Greenville City Council and board members at Greenville Utilities say they're going to forgo any pay raises for the next fiscal year due to what they say are anticipated lower revenues.

The pay freeze will impact 413 employees at Greenville Utilities and 710 people that work for the city of Greenville.

Greenville city manager Wayne Bowers says, "While we value the efforts and professionalism of our employees, the council and commission felt the economic situation warranted the action taken."

GUC says Thursday's action is just a drop of water from a bigger bucket of budget cuts. The GUC's Sue Hatch says, "We have been making substantial budget cuts since early 2007. We've cut about 15 million dollars from our current budget and our upcoming fiscal year's budget."

PREVIOUS STORY:

The recession is hitting city employees in Greenville with a pay freeze.

City council and the Greenville Utilities Board have agreed to forgo any pay raises for the next fiscal year due to what they say are anticipated lower revenues. This also includes any merit pay increases for employees.

The city currently has 710 employees while GUC employs 413.

"While we value the efforts and professionalism of our employees, the Council and Commission felt the economic situation warranted the action taken," said City Manager Wayne Bowers.

The city is also delaying a budgeted study of benefits and compensation that was originally slated for this year.


Greenville News Release:

Joint News Release
City of Greenville & Greenville Utilities Commission

DATE: April 30, 2009
SUBJECT: City Council and GUC Board Hold City/GUC Employees’ Pay at Current Levels

Due to anticipated lower revenues, the Greenville City Council and the Greenville Utilities Board of Commissioners have voted not to grant any market adjustment wage increase in the 2009-2010 budget. The City and Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) review employee compensation each year and, when appropriate, grant a general pay increase to keep employee wages competitive with the labor market. The Council and Commissioners also voted to suspend the merit program, which increases salaries based upon work performance, and to delay a budgeted study of benefits and compensation originally slated for this year.

The actions came during a joint City Council / Greenville Utilities Commission meeting and are in response to the recommendations from the City & GUC Joint Pay and Benefits Committee. The Committee recommended these actions based on the current economic crisis and the external employment marketplace.

“While we value the efforts and professionalism of our employees, the Council and Commission felt the economic situation warranted the action taken,” said City Manager Wayne Bowers. “The financial problems could grow worse for us in the 2010 – 2011 budget if the economy does not turn around as we hope it will. Therefore, it is important for us to stay ahead of the situation as we try to avoid the possibility of the furloughs or layoffs that have been instituted by many public and private employers.”

“Just like organizations across the country, we are facing challenges due to reduced revenues and increased costs,” said Ron Elks, Greenville Utilities General Manager/CEO. “As a result, we are taking a strategic approach that includes substantial cost containment measures. We owe it to our customers to be as fiscally prudent as we can be while maintaining the high level of service and reliability they deserve.”

The Council and GUC Board are also discussing the Committee’s recommendation to make changes to the health insurance program, but postponed a decision on that until May so that Council Members and GUC Commissioners have more time to study the proposal.

### COG ###


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by me Location: nc on May 7, 2009 at 05:40 AM
    enough already quit your crying
  • by William Location: ENC on May 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM
    This is a COLD way to treat these workers.
  • by gym on May 2, 2009 at 11:45 AM
    To you guys complaining about gym memberships, you are right, heaven forbid that police officers work out. That really is ridiculous.
  • by Oh!! Location: here on May 2, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    Redistribution of wealth was promised, REMEMBER??? If you HAVE or HAD a job, redistribution does NOT apply to you!! Get over it!
  • by with mimi Location: greenvillle on May 2, 2009 at 06:26 AM
    i think mimi is right. my husband works with the city and was due for a raise in 2 mos, but will not get it now. of course, we're not jumping up and down, but he's still got a job. btw, purdue could not have won w/o the teachers vote! there are always consequences for elections.
  • by Mimi Location: Greenville on May 1, 2009 at 03:08 PM
    It's amazing to me that people are whining about not getting a raise or taking a one-half percent pay cut for TWO MONTHS. Get real, people! There are folks a lot worse off - either they've lost their jobs or taken pay cuts. The company I work with not only froze salaries - they cut our pay by 10% and stopped matching our 401(k) contributions. But at least we still have jobs and we're grateful for that. So folks - you can always find people worse off than you are. Stop your pity party!!
  • by American Biker Location: Eastern NC on May 1, 2009 at 02:15 PM
    Don't feel to bad. Alot of us that work for companies and were fortunate enough to escape the layoff, are not seeing any pay increases either, although we are seeing benefit decreases and premium increases. I guess those are the perks of 17 yrs hard labor for a company.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on May 1, 2009 at 07:14 AM
    All I can say is I am happy where I am at and feel fortunate to be one of the lucky ones and I hope that nothing about where I am at will change as far as the position I am in. Outside of that, I am very dissatisfied with the economy, considering the amounts of family members I have that work for the state, who could have easily been let go, cause of these greedy politicians stealing the money from these taxpayers, including me. Also, this insurance premium increase has really pushed my buttom bad. That mess is only an excuse for the politicians and Insurance people to fatten up their wallets more than before, while stealing money from the working people, including me and my wife. Thank god that we don't have any kids yet.
  • by Freddie Location: Greenville on May 1, 2009 at 06:05 AM
    According to Suzanne they are printing on both sides of their paper now. But their private travel agency is going full bore. We have no chance.
  • by To Sarah on May 1, 2009 at 06:02 AM
    Why are you upset with City employees because you lost your job? You should have A. made yourself more valuable in the position or B. had a back up plan. Its not the City Employees fault that the city manages its money better than your company did.
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