Columbus Mayor Says 3% Pay Hike Less Than Cost Of Living

A change in the cost of living index could eliminate the benefits of a city employee salary increase in Columbus.

Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong

Photo: Daniel Robison

Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong says proposed raises for city employees may not even equal an increase in the cost of living index.

The Columbus City Council is planning to raise city employees’ salaries by 3 percent next year. But Columbus mayor Fred Armstrong, speaking on WFIU’s “Ask the Mayor,” said that raise is not enough because of a recent increase in the cost of living.

“They’re actually not getting a raise,” Armstrong said.  “They’re just getting cost of living. Actually now they’re getting less than cost of living because if it passes on the 20th, they’ll be getting 3 percent when there has been a percent cost of living index.”

The mayor said the city has enough funds in its budget to up employee pay by 4 percent.

The council is also considering raising elected officials salaries by 6 percent. Councilwoman Priscilla Scalf says although the council has not discussed the cost of living issue, but she thinks if elected officials are going to get a raise, city employees should too.

“We all feel that our city employees do a good job at keeping our city safe and keeping our city clean and whatever we can do to support them that is our job,” Scalf said.

Scalf said she will talk to the other city council members about possibly amending the ordinance to offer a 4 percent raise before a final vote on September 20.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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