Proposed SA budget includes pay raises up to 20% as city tries to match market rates

Most raises would be closer to 7%; proposal also raises minimum hourly wage to $17.50

San Antonio – As the city tries to fill vacant positions, its proposed budget for FY 2023 calls for giving all civilian employees pay raises of at least 7% -- though some could go as high as 20%.

After conducting its first market analysis since 2008, the city’s proposed budget would give a 5% increase across the board, with additional market adjustments between 2% and 15%. The raises, which total $53 million, are for civilian employees, as well as airport and park police officers -- nearly 9,000 positions in all.

SAPD officers and firefighters, however, are covered under separate union contracts. Police are scheduled for a 3.5% increase and firefighters will get a 2.5% bump with a 0.5% lump sum.

Roughly two-thirds of the city employees are looking at 7% raises, including contract coordinators, management analysts, and planners. Another third would get raises between 7% and 12%, like veterinarian techs, licensed vocational nurses, 311 customer service representatives, and solid waste collectors.

A select 244 employees working in jobs like welders, public health nurses, and family support workers would get raises totaling 12% to 20%.

The city’s director of human resources, Renee Frieda, said the city has a 9.7% vacancy rate and applications for open positions have gone down.

The vacancies are across the city departments, she said, but they’ve had an especially hard time with jobs like electricians, HVAC, welders, park police and airport officers, and community health workers.

“I do think that since those are some of the positions seeing the highest market increase, that that is going to help us be more competitive,” she said.

The city’s minimum hourly wage would also go up from $15.60 to $17.50 per hour, and employee healthcare premiums would be reduced, too.

The city council is expected to vote on the budget at its Sep. 15 meeting.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.