Salary cuts for Galveston workers

January 23, 2009 4:30:09 AM PST
All Galveston city employees will be forced to take a pay cut in just over a week, as the devastated island tries to get back on its feet after Hurricane Ike.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

This vote took place after 10pm Thursday. Employees will start seeing a difference in their paychecks starting February 1.

The devastation of Hurricane Ike on Galveston Island has led to the council voting on a three percent pay cut for all city employees. The police and firefighters considered, and agreed to, that pay cut late last year. Those employees are part of a collective bargaining agreement, but the rest of the city's employees are not, and last night's vote made it official for everyone.

The city's property and sales tax revenue is down from the projections for 2009 before the storm. This is what City Manager Steve LeBlanc told us when we talked to him about the possibility of pay cuts back in December.

"We're an at will employer we ultimately answer to the citizens of Galveston, who are paying our salaries," explained LeBlanc. "To those citizens, we have to be responsible."

The salary cuts come on the heels of 300 more jobs lost at Shriners Hospital in Galveston. It announced Thursday that it will close, not only because of Ike, but the bad economy, too.

Those medical professionals are looking for work alongside more than 3,000 employees of UTMB, laid off last year after the hospital was damaged by Ike.

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