The Montgomery County Council approved a package of salary increases Tuesday for most employees and senior managers, ending a series of lean years triggered by the Great Recession.
With little debate, the council voted to award raises averaging between 7 percent and 10 percent for most police, fire and general non-uniform employees for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The pay hikes, a combination of cost-of-living and step increases, total about $32 million. They represent the front end of two-year contracts negotiated by County Executive Isiah Leggett with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1664, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 and the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization Local 1994. The council is permitted to consider only one year at a time.
Leggett (D) said the raises were justified by the sacrifices county workers made during the last three years in the form of furloughs and wage freezes. He also contended that the county faced the possibility of paying more if contract talks reached impasses and went to arbitration.