Durham city workers with no raise despite possible work stoppage; council doesn't discuss issue

Josh Chapin Image
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Durham city workers still with no pay raise; council doesn't discuss
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Durham city workers said they would voice their concerns about pay during Monday's city council meeting but the council shelved the issue until Thursday.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham city workers said they would voice their concerns about pay during Monday's city council meeting.

But they'll have to wait a little longer as the Durham council punted the issue to Thursday.

Sanitation workers, returned to work Tuesday after a four-day work stoppage to protest for higher wages.

Union worker reps said that despite their return their demands for higher pay still have not been met, but the Durham city manager has released a new bonus proposal for full-time city workers.

Anyone earning less than $57,000 would get a $3,000 bonus.

Workers who make from $57,000 to $90,000 would receive a $2,500 bonus.

Those with salaries above $90,000 would get a $2,000 bonus.

Part-time employees would receive a $1,000 bonus.

The City of Durham said it is planning to do the bonuses as long as the council approves; It got a windfall of sales tax money and $6.5 million is going toward these bonuses for all city employees

Sanitation workers said they still want $5,000 and potentially will walk off the job if demands aren't met.

"'We came back for the citizens because citizens should not suffer behind their lack of responsibility," said Herman Moore, a 23-year solid-waste employee. "All the essential workers for the city of Durham deserve a pay raise. Me myself, I moved out of the city but the people who live here can't afford to live here."

John Burwell has 14 years as a maintenance tech.

"The customers, they make me feel good every day, the love of them that's why I do it," Burwell said. "It's not our customers' fault. So basically we went back. We still fighting, we're not done, still fighting, not done."

Gerald Wallace works in transportation and parking enforcement. He said he thinks the city will do the right thing.

"I feel very confident our council, our mayor, and our city manager will work to try and come to some kind of resolution to prevent any other sit-outs," Wallace said. "You have to balance out how much does it cost to live in the city, how much do most of us make generally every month, every two weeks. "To some, it's a slap in the face, to some they can survive off of it, depends how much you make, how much you take home.

"I think they will, it will move forward," he added, "they'll do what's right for the City of Durham."