News 4 Investigates: Worker Pay Raises -

News 4 Investigates: Worker Pay Raises

If you got a 2-and-a-half percent pay raise and then heard that a co-worker got a 25% pay raise, you think that you'd been unfairly treated and would be pretty mad about it.
The battle over a pay raise for workers at the City of St. Louis failed to get resolved before the end of the 2007-2008 fiscal year June 30. The civil service commission has recommended to the Board of Aldermen, a pay plan that includes a 2-and-a-half percent raise and a one-time check of $300. Amid the debate over pay raises, News 4 Investigates requested documents from city hall and found that a few workers had received sizable raises already this year. Three secretaries in the board of aldermen's office received 25% raises in January. And an employee in Mayor Slay's office received a 20% raise in June. On paper these raises look outrageously unfair and in light of the 2-and-a-half percent raise for rank-and-file workers, it might appear that the powerful people at city hall are playing favorites.

But sometimes the numbers on paper don't tell the whole story. One secretary in the Board of Aldermen's office got a 19% pay raise in January and then a 25% raise in August. Sounds outrageous, till you find out that she was promoted from receptionist to secretary in January and she's one of four secretaries in the office who received a 25% raise within the last year or so, after finishing a 6 month probationary period. Turns out that it's policy to hire some workers at 25% below the pay for their position and when they finish their probationary period, their salary goes up to the full pay for their position, which happens to be a 25% increase. The worker in the mayor's office was promoted to a new position and started taking on some of the responsibilities of another job that went unfilled and the 20% pay raise was a result of that job change. In fact, Mayor Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford points out that the mayor's staff has actually declined from 25 to 17, since Slay took office. Sometimes there's more to the numbers on paper than meets the eye

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