Hendrix Wants City Pay Raises

The minimum wage for city employees mirrors the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under Hendrix's proposal, the wage would rise to $8.75 per hour within a year.

The minimum wage for city employees mirrors the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under Hendrix's proposal, the wage would rise to $8.75 per hour within a year. Photo by Trip Burns.

City employees could see a pay increase under a proposal from Jackson Ward 6 Councilman Tyrone Hendrix. Hendrix, who took the seat Mayor Tony Yarber formerly held, has been working on the plan for about a month. The plan has backing from five other members of the city council.

The minimum wage for city employees mirrors the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Under Hendrix's proposal, the wage would rise to $8.75 per hour within a year. The next year, it would go up to $9.70 and $10.65 after three years.

Raising the minimum wage for city employees could be a boon to the local economy despite common myths that increasing the wage would cost jobs. Information from the U.S. Department of Labor shows no discernible effect on employment and nearly 600 economists have voiced support of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per year by 2016.

Additionally, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times since 1938 and, in the meantime, real gross-domestic product per capita has steadily increased for 75 years, even when the minimum wage has been raised.

And a raise in minimum wage isn't only good for teenagers earning pocket money. The typical minimum wage worker isn't in high school—studies show 88 percent of people who would benefit from a federal minimum wage increase are age 20 or older.

Hendrix's ordinance was placed in the Rules Committee for consideration.

Comments

forrest 2 months ago

How, exactly will the city be paying for these raises?

Are they going to raise taxes on citizens of Jackson? Taking money from one person and giving it to another, in hopes that that person will spend the first's money to better serve Jackson? I just don't see how giving our money to someone else helps anyone other than the second person. It's still the same dollar they took from us, why can't we be trusted with that dollar?

Are they going to cut the budgets of the failing schools to pay for it? Or the over-worked police who have a hard enough job dealing with the crime as it is? Will they fix even fewer pot-holes, or continue to neglect the actual sinkholes forming in our streets (Broadway and Grove comes to mind, being formed when the sewers broke, sucking dirt from under the road until it collapsed months ago.)

Who, exactly will they be taking this money from in order to give it to themselves? I'm sure none of that money will be coming out of the pockets of Mr. Williams or his councilmen. It'll come from citizens like us who barely scrape by as it is, or from city services that are failing already.

Mr. Williams, fund the programs we already have. Stop increasing the burden on already overburdened families by adding to our city's budget. Stop asking one group to give up money to hand it to another group. Your job is to make our city better, not drag us all down to the bottom kicking and screaming.

I am not against paying people decent wages. I wish every job could pay every employee enough to do anything that employee wants to do with their money. But that wish cannot, I repeat, cannot do away with the basic rules of the economy. If I have $100 dollars, I cannot spend $200 and expect things to go well for me. This city, our nation, and many of our elected officials do not seem to understand that. We owe trillions of dollars to foreign countries and are outspending our earning by vast quantities. When the money is all gone, we have to stop spending money or else we will never be able to climb out of the hole we are digging with each additional dollar we spend.

If Mr. Hendrix can find extra money laying around to give to the city employees, I welcome him to do that. But I do not want him giving out money that the city simply does not have to spend. I don't have that sort of money, nor does anyone I know that lives in this city.

Instead of hating rich people, we should look at them and figure out how they got to where they are and model our lifestyles after theirs. Rich people got rich, not by spending their money, but by saving their money and investing that money into new ways of making money.

Spend some money attracting more business to Jackson. Get our streets safer so that people will want to move back and not be scared off by the constant shootings we hear every night. Add to our tax base, don't simply add to our tax bill.

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tomhead1978 2 months ago

"The secret to our success was to suspend economic development until we'd put an end to crime and created a system of public education that adequately serves everyone." — no city leadership, ever

Upgrading 2,300 residents to a living wage while making city positions more competitive is a wise use of city funds. In cities, we have to take care of each other, specialize, and redistribute resources. That's been true for 7,000 years, and it's not going to change any time soon.

More to the point: ending crime and fixing public education will necessitate capital, capital necessitates economic development, economic development necessitates a strong local economy, and a strong local economy necessitates a living wage. No matter how well-designed your rocket is, you can't get to the Moon without fuel.

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zacksgrny 2 months ago

Giving city employees a raise is a no brainer. The people who are providing services should be compensated. City Employees pay checks are so behind it's horrible. I commend this new counccil person for speaking up for those who have to work thru it all. Spend money to attract the best employees the city can have. If your pay is the same or less than it was 15 years ago there is a problem.

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forrest 2 months ago

And you'll never get to the Moon by stealing fuel from NASA and giving it to NASCAR.

Redistrobuting wealth has failed everywhere it's been tried. Do you really want Jackson to look even more like Detroit in 5 years, or should we stop doing what they did and try something else?

Detroit went bankrupt because they took tons and tons of money in taxes from people who worked and gave it out to everyone else. Instead of investing in their roads, sewers, buildings and schools; they invested in huge city retirement programs and paid city workers massive amounts of money for very little work. Eventually, as roads gave out and companies realized they could move to cities with lower taxes, there just weren't enough people paying taxes for the city to afford to keep paying their bills and the entire city went bankrupt. Now, nothing can happen there because not only do they not have the money coming in to fix the problems, they cannot attract new money to come in because of the problems. No city has ever been able to survive on it's on. Rome , Constantinople, Babalon, all cities have risen and fallen based on their ability to attract outsiders to come in and spend money in their cities. It takes new money coming in to keep a city strong. Jackson would be better suited by investing the little money we do have coming in into finding ways to get more people to come spend their money in the city.

Roads are crumbling and often unsafe to drive down. I live near N. State st, and that road absolutely kills cars. It's not alone.

Schools are failing and our city's youth come out of them lacking educations required to preform the jobs that are available.

Crime is horrible. I've heard 3 or 4 gunshots already tonight, and that's no different from every other night over the past year since I moved here from Madison County.

Why would ANYONE bring their business here? The roads crumble under your car, the water is often unsafe to drink, employees are underqualified because they simply lack the education required for the job, and even if you DO find a way to work that doesn't ruin your car and find employees that can do their work, the minute someone finds out that you have money on you, they try to take it from you.

Again, not saying that city employees shouldn't get paid more, just saying that basic economics and city planning suggests that that's not our top priority right now, and that we just don't have the money to do it until we can raise more money from outside our city.

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