Why firefighters want back pay from the city of Wilmington
The head of the firefighters union in Wilmington said city leaders can choose to pay the nearly two months worth of money.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The city of Wilmington owes its employees two months worth of a merit raise, according to a local union leader.
Chuck Bower, president of the Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association, emailed city leaders Wednesday to remind them of an issue he raised months ago.
Members of city council approved merit raises for the 2013-2014 budget, but Bower said unless something changes, employees will not receive a full year's worth of the raise.
"If the money was funded for merit money and was part of what you were promised as an employee than you should get it no matter how small the amount," he said.
City records show that employees were told in July that their merit raises would not be ready until August 26. Raises for more than 1,000 employees had to be entered into the payroll system manually, according to a spokesperson for the city.
Bower admits the money probably would not total much for an individual worker, so he said his concern is one of principle.
"I think it would go a long way towards a good faith gesture for this to be rectified in a positive manner," said Bower.
The union leader said it's important to bring up the issue before the budget discussion starts for next year.