Flint council members, mayor on city employees’ raise delay

Flint city employees are still waiting for their agreed-upon raises after their new contracts were approved weeks ago.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 6:43 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – Flint city employees are still waiting for their agreed-upon raises after their new contracts were approved weeks ago.

However, they’re now forced to wait for city council’s final approval.

“It is frustrating for the administration, unions, and those people working in those areas,” said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.

Neeley was speaking about police, firefighters, and city hall employees waiting for their pay raises after Flint City Council took no action at its last meeting to finalize those raises.

Related: Flint City Council halting raises for police, firefighters

“We’re going to make sure the raises will be retroactive. Whenever it gets completed, we’ll go back to the ratification date for the city administration and the union, and go back to that particular date, and make these individuals whole,” Neeley said.

Flint City Council president Allie Herkenroder had a message for the first responders.

“I am so sorry that there are folks who refuse to see that their actions are having an impact on not only your lives, not only the lives of the city of Flint firefighters, the city of Flint police officers, city hall employees, but also having very real impacts on the quality of life for all Flint residents,” she said.

Herkenroder said too much time was wasted on politics instead of policy.

“Because we spent an hour and a half on trying to figure out an agenda change, we ate up that valuable time to be able to even get to a council meeting,” Herkenroder said.

City Councilwoman Tonya Burns is one of the people Herkenroder is at odds with.

“I have been on the forefront, number one, of supporting police and fire,” Burns said.

Burns is adamant that her actions during the meeting did not play a role in the delay in pay raises.

“We need to set aside whatever their differences are, and do the work. Three people walked out of that meeting. That meeting could’ve been handled. We could’ve voted on it. We were 75 percent of the way done. Three people walked out. They’re the reasons why that meeting didn’t continue. It wasn’t me. Not at all. It’s on video,” Burns said.

For her part, Herkenroder said she walked out of the meeting because of the personal petty politics taking place. She said the people of Flint deserve better.

“There’s so many great things happening. There’s so many amazing people who are working so hard in this city. And not just at City Hall, but in general, and we have so, have so much going for us, we just need to stop getting in our own way,” Herkenroder said.

Neeley said he agrees.

“And with most of the city council members, we have a good partnership, but the bad actors cannot rule the day,” Neeley said.

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