Raleigh firefighters rally after pay increase rejected

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Firefighters plan to rally Tuesday in front of City Hall

The Raleigh City Council finalized its 2017 budget Monday, with no extra consideration for first-responders' pay.

The city approved the same 3.5 percent pay raise that all city workers got for firefighters and police officers, an amount those workers said wasn't enough.

Firefighters held a rally Tuesday morning at City Hall.

Monday's vote surprised many as the council passed its more than $858 million budget during an afternoon work session instead of the main session where such matters are usually considered.

"We are disappointed that the City Council chose to unexpectedly approve the budget during today's work session," said Raleigh Firefighters United in a statement. "With considerable opposition in regards to first responder pay, further dialogue was needed before making a decision that affects the lives of so many of Raleigh's first responders and their families. We will continue our efforts to address disparities that exist in our salaries."

RELATED: RALEIGH FIREFIGHTER SAYS PAY TOO LOW

Firefighters say many are forced to work second jobs to support their families.

City leaders said they plan to study the pay issue before making any decisions about an increase. Firefighters said despite the setback, they're committed to answering emergency calls quickly and professionally.

The budget includes a 2-cent property tax increase. The extra money will be used to pay for the Dorthea Dix park and an affordable housing program.

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Raleigh finalizes a city budget that leaves firefighters disappointed.

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