Macon workers can hear pay details at meeting

City of Macon employees who want to hear details of Mayor Robert Reichert’s proposed pay plan can come to a mass meeting 6 p.m. Wednesday in council chambers, organized primarily by Councilwoman Elaine Lucas.

Lucas and some other council members have been sharply critical of the administration’s plan, questioning especially the hefty raises for high-ranking administrators. Lucas said council President Pro Tempore James Timley and Councilmen Henry Ficklin, Rick Hutto and Lonnie Miley are joining her at the meeting.

Lucas asked the mayor’s office to send representatives to give the same presentation council members have received.

Mayoral spokesman Andrew Blascovich said Reichert and people from the finance and human resources departments will attend the meeting.

The meeting is open to the public but is primarily a chance for the city’s employees, roughly 1,250, to ask questions. The council chamber has a listed capacity of 200.

The administration has said the pay plan is based on a study done by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and is meant to get as close to the market rate for similar cities as Macon can currently afford. Critics have said the benchmark cities are mostly consolidated governments and cover many more people than Macon.

Human Resources Director Ben Hubbard has said about 80 percent of the proposed $1.2 million in pay increases this year would go to police and firefighters.

The plan would put all full-time employees on a stepped system, and while 58 people would be “frozen” at their current pay rate for some time, no one would take a pay cut, Hubbard said.

Lucas has proposed scrapping the proposed system in favor of at least one of her own proposals: an immediate $500 bonus for employees, or an across-the-board $1,400 raise.