Some Wharton Top Administrators Get Raises

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(Memphis) News Channel 3 is asking questions about pay raises some of Mayor Wharton’s administrators received when the rank and file employees got a pay cut.

The city admits it raised the salary of some high-ranking employees by thousands of dollars but claims it had to do it.

City of Memphis CAO George Little says they don’t consider the increases a pay raise but a salary review.

The changes were made after looking at what male city employees were making compared to female and job duties.

Here’s what the numbers show about city hall salaries:

Three City Division Directors got salary increases from $115,000 to $118,000.

The public works director was bumped from $118,000 to $120,000.

Other big raises went to the Metro Alarms Administrator, Contract Compliance Officer and a Contracts Manager.

The contract manager assigned to the Workforce Investment Network saw his salary jump from $62,000 to $87,000. That’s a $25,000 increase.

Unions that have been fighting to get their full pay restored after having it cut question the raises and fairness.

“I continue to look for things such as this so we can point out to them everybody in the city is not being treated the same,” said Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association.

City CAO George Little says the increases were all part of a salary review and not regular pay raises.

“I would simply say we believe in paying all of our employees well with respect to gender and ethnicity,” said Little.

He says division directors and others on the list took on extra duties and responsibilities and their salaries were adjusted.

“We went to no lengths to hide anything by the same token people's salary information is sensitive,” said Little.

City Council Budget Chair Jim Strickland learned about the salary increases through the media.

“When we're trying to scrimp and save every dollar that we can to avoid tax increases, I think it's incumbent on the administration to point out when they’re bumping people's salaries up, especially if it's upper management,” said Strickland.

Strickland says the administration never volunteered the information about the salary reviews

“This is a lesson learned. I'm going to ask for every position that's getting any kind of increase in pay outside an overall increase in pay,” said Strickland.