Proposed City Employee Raise Is Not Enough

Friday, June 6, 2014

When Mayor Berke passed his budget for 2015, I was saddened to see that the city of Chattanooga employees would only receive a 1.5 percent raise. I am a city of Chattanooga employee and have been for seven years, I hold a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and only earn $30,298 a year. Every day I put my life in danger to enforce the city’s ordinances on code violations as a code enforcement officer for Public Works. 

With a increase of 3.5 percent in healthcare cost, that 1.5 percent raise is pointless to the everyday worker at the city of Chattanooga. I understand that Mayor Berke is concerned about our youth in the streets, but how can our youth receive proper care if his employees are working second jobs to provide for their families.

Some may argue that, employees of the city receive better benefits than private companies, however that is not true. If the normal worker sign up for all the health benefits offered, that employee would not have any money left to live on.  

The point I am making, is that Mayor Berke employees are on the verge of becoming homeless, many are seeking government subsidies just to make ends meet. My mother had to recently move in with my family because of the rise in cost of living and us not being able to afford to pay bills such as the light bill, which is another issue that needs to be addressed.   Employees are literally taking on more assignments on the job and not being compensated properly.  

For example, my job title is code enforcement inspector , however I am delivering garbage containers when we have a person assigned for that. Myself and other employees are taking on some supervisor's and manager's responsibilities while they are enjoying the monetary benefits from it.  

The need to correct fair pay is beyond overdue, as I research other cities similar to Chattanooga, code enforcement inspectors should be making a minimum of $35,000 per year, and that’s entry level.

Mayor Berke has good intentions, however his intentions should focus a little more on his employees because we are the people who keep the agency running properly. Otherwise, his employees might as well join the homeless people on E.11th Street and live under the bridge. 

Christie Morris


An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Is Poverty Inherited?

Is poverty inherited was meant and is meant as query to all of us.  The school system is a mess. Yes, a mess. Teachers in most of the schools in both the inner city and the fringes deal with behavior problems of some magnitude. The obvious solutionm rid the troublesome student and all will be well. That argument accomplishes little. Lil Joey in the back of the classroom ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Says Girl Received Severe Traumatic Brain Injury In Woodmore Bus Wreck

A new lawsuit in the tragic Woodmore Elementary School bus wreck said one girl on the bus suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Attorneys Joseph Fried and Michael Goldberg of Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC filed a lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit Court on behalf of the minor daughter of Shanquatta Byrd. The bus driver, Johnthony Walker, was transporting 37 students from ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

Mississippi State Quarterback Nick Tiano To Play At UTC

Former Baylor School quarterback Nick Tiano announced Monday that he is transferring from Mississippi State to UTC. He tweeted, "I'm very excited to announce that I am going back home to play for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga! # GoMoc" Tiano had announced five days ago that he was leaving the Bulldogs after his freshman year. Tiano appeared in four ... (click for more)

Jones Will "Thoroughly Examine Everything In UT Program"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach  and seniors Joshua Dobbs and LaTroy Lewis met with reporters on Monday in their first press conference for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Unranked Tennessee (8-4) will play Nebraska (9-3) in the Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium. The game will feature a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN. The Cornhuskers are No. 21 in the ... (click for more)