City employees voiced backing on Mayor Kelly’s budget plan

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (WDEF) – A crowd of Chattanooga city employees rallied together before the Chattanooga City Council meeting.

“We support the pay plan. Our members, the employees of the city of Chattanooga have been the essential workers who kept the city going.”

Service Employees International Union Local 205 came out prior the today’s city council meeting to endorse Mayor Tim Kelly’s budget proposal.

“I grew up in Chattanooga, a lot of Chattanooga has changed and grown and a lot of that has changed and grown has been the inequality and other issues we need to see the address in the city. It starts right now in the city itself or we can start to fix those things for the people that make the city work,” said Patrick Cate.

They say this Will put the employees in a better financial situation and $15 an hour is something they have been pushing for almost two years.

“There is a housing crisis so, that $15 an hour would actually allow more people to be able to access different forms of housing,” said Jasmine Townsend.

“The work that we do here in my department, it’s a must, it’s a need to go around picking up the brush and debris to keep the city looking as clean as possible,” said Alonzo Strickland

They say many have to work extra jobs due to their current wage and that takes time away from their life.

“With the way, it’s being the way it is right now a lot of city employees and people throughout the city are having to work multiple jobs. When you’re working multiple jobs at a time away from your kids,” said Townsend.

“Having to go and do these things that our clients are doing to go make money it’s just absurd and we all deserve a living wage to be able to help out our clients even better,” said Sarina Keffer.

Chattanooga City Council’s first vote on the budget is set for September 7th.

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