City Council OKs $6.2M
pay raise for HGEA

The City Council approved $6.2 million in pay raises yesterday for white-collar workers represented by the Hawaii Government Employees Association.

City & County of Honolulu "We do believe that for our employees it is a reasonable and affordable pay increase," Randy Perreira, HGEA deputy executive director, told the Council yesterday.

Perreira said after the meeting that the raises are needed to boost morale. He also said employees have concerns because of current budget discussions over cutting vacant positions and the potential loss of manpower and diminishing city services.

"We need (to approve the raises) just to survive," Isma Manu Ayau, a city building inspector and a member of the HGEA negotiating committee, told the Council.

The Council voted 7-2 to approve an arbitration panel's award of an average of 8 percent at the end of a two-year deal that includes a 5 percent across-the-board wage hike beginning in January.

Councilmen Charles Djou and Mike Gabbard voted against approving the raises. "While it is deserving, I do not believe we can afford it," Djou said.

The Hawaii County Council and the state Legislature have already approved the raises. The Councils on Maui and Kauai are expected to take the matter up later this month.


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