Iorio Calls for Halt to Raises

TAMPA -

Last year, when the Tampa firefighters' union reached an impasse with the mayor over pay raises, union leaders got the City Council to overrule the mayor. This year, the mayor is hoping to stop a similar end around, so she met with council members Tuesday and presented a grim fiscal picture.

Against the mayor's wishes, the Tampa City Council gave firefighters a 12.9 percent pay increase, which includes cost of living and merit increases as well as additional pay for paramedics.

This year, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio is trying to keep the firefighters' raises at 7.5 percent.

'Our point today is that we've got to decrease our level of pay raises to match the economic times we're in,' Iorio said.

Police got a 8.7 percent increase and general employees 6.5 percent. Iorio said if the city could bring down the level of pay increases, it would help to balance the budget.

Her message seemed to reach Tampa City Council Chairman Tom Scott, who attended the workshop. 'Either you're going to have to do that or you're going to be facing layoffs,' Scott said.

The city is already looking at draining it's reserve fund to make up for lower property tax collections and to make up for pension fund losses.

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