Political squabbling and an in-house legal dispute halted the rollout Tuesday of a 2.5% pay raise for all city employees in Mobile.The City Council, in an unanimous vote, endorsed the pay hike for approximately 2,000 merit system employees, such as police officers and firefighters, effective immediately. The increased excluded 59 non-merit “Section 40” or contractual employees. But moments after the council’s vote, Mayor Sandy Stimpson held a news conference outside his office to announce that all pay raises were being rescinded for the time being.“Until we can figure out how to get everyone included, there will not be a raise,” Stimpson said.‘Hold hostage’During the council’s pre-meeting conference, the contractual employees issue prompted spirited debate between two attorneys who are sparing in court over a pending lawsuit pitting Stimpson against the council.Wanda Cochran, who represents the council, and Ricardo Woods, representing Stimpson’s office, disagreed over whether the contractual employees should be included in the raises.Cochran suggested the council omit them, while Wood urged inclusion.“I think no one disputes the fact that the raises should go to the merit-system employees, but my legal advice … is that you do not increase salaries for Section 40 employees,” said Cochran. “That’s squarely in the… Read full this story
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