Tonight the compensation package passed with a vote of 8-5. First Ward Alderman Tim Durkee was not present. Those in favor say the decision is long overdue because the city placed a wage freeze on non-union employees in 2009.
Eighth Ward Alderman Nancy Johnson said "we've balanced the budget on the backs of some of these employees for too many years. We decided it just wasn't an appropriate thing to continue to do."
Those receiving the pay increase vary across the city; including employees such as department heads, clerks, secretaries and those in the police and fire departments.
Alderman Johnson said not increasing pay has prohibited "some police and fire department officials from achieving a certain rank without taking a pay cut."
The aldermen that voted against the Ordinance say the city has a budget deficit and there are more important issues that need to be taken care of first.
"I still have some concerns because we're still in negotiation with organized labor as well regarding their wages. I think we should have waited," said Thirteenth Ward Alderman Linda McNeely.