Atlanta--About two dozen unionized city workers rallied at Atlanta City Hall Saturday morning to demand a pay raise. As they walked to the state capitol, they said they are tired of waiting for the economy to improve before they get a major raise-especially after the City Council voted themselves a 52% pay increase late last year.
"We dig the holes, we pave the streets, we fight the crime we listen to the emergency calls," said 911 operator Yuanda Benjamin of the city workforce. "We're the ones who need the raises."
City council members who voted for that raise said in the past, city workers have gotten smaller incremental raises, as well as a few bonuses. They also said they deserve the raise because they work so many long hours.
But Council members like Kwanza Hall, who voted against the raise, agreed with the union members. He said it could've waited.
"I would have liked to see everyone move forward with a raise, or not do it, but that didn't happen," Hall said. He said as this year's budget process begins, they plan to take another look at a city-wide raise.
"I think it's possible we can come to a solution, we've done it before in the past," Hall said.