Non-union employees of the City of Rockford, including managers and department heads, will receive a three-percent pay increase following a City Council vote Monday night.
Those in favor say the decision is long overdue because the city placed a wage freeze on non-union employees in 2009.
"We've balanced the budget on the backs of some of these employees for too many years,” 8th Ward Ald. Nancy Johnson said. “We decided it just wasn't an appropriate thing to continue to do."
She said not increasing pay has prohibited "some police and fire department officials from achieving a certain rank without taking a pay cut."
Opponents say the three-percent increase is too much money for department heads and people they believe are already well compensated.
"I voted no," said 4th Ward Ald. Carl Wasco, “for reasons that I felt across the board some of the raises were a little too large.
Added 13th Ward Ald. Linda McNeely, "I still have some concerns because we're still in negotiation with organized labor as well regarding their wages. I think we should have waited."
Those receiving the pay increase vary across the city; including employees such as department heads, clerks, secretaries and those in the police and fire departments.
The aldermen that voted against the Ordinance say the city has a budget deficit and there are more important issues that need to be taken care of first.