Breaking News: Calexico Employees to Get 4% Raise
Breaking News: Calexico Employees to Get a 4% Raise

All Calexico Employees to Get a 4% Raise


CALEXICO — The 145 or so Calexico city employees will see a four-percent cost-of-living-adjustment pay increase by July 1, including a two-percent pay hike to start March 1, city officials announced late on Feb. 27.

“I’m very pleased because the city employees have made tremendous sacrifices with salary cuts and going with no pay (at times) to go the extra mile to get us economically sound again,” Calexico Mayor Bill Hodge said.

Hodge described the raises as a gesture of “good will” meant to “keep the morale up.”

While the city still must focus on rebuilding its reserves, or rainy-day funds, the mayor added “we felt, among the city council, that the employees deserved at least a COLA (cost of living adjustment) raise.”

Calexico City Manager David Dale made the initial announcement following a series of meetings with the unions representing city employees, during which all the bargaining units agreed to the raises in principle.

“I’m very pleased that we were able to give these resources back to our city employees. I wish we could do more,” Dale said.

He added it was the city employees who agreed to the previous cuts that helped restore the city to firm financial footing.

An initial two-percent raise will go into effect March 1 and another two percent will go into effect July 1, which is the start of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

At the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, city officials expect to see the first general fund surplus — more than $900,000 — since 2014, officials have previously reported.

In 2016, the city was $4.5 million in the red and had to borrow from its water enterprise funds and negotiate pay cuts and benefits reductions from city unions to avoid bankruptcy. The workforce, through layoffs and attrition over the years, has dwindled to around 145, about half of what the city employed just a decade ago.

Dale said the first part of the raises will cost the city around $62,800 through June 30. The additional two percent will cost $188,500 for fiscal 2020-2021.

Calexico City Council members unanimously approved the two-part pay increase during closed session at its Feb. 19 meeting. Dale said it could not be announced until every bargaining unit approved it.

“We’re very happy, what can I say? It’s been a long time coming,” said Lorena Minor, president of the Calexico Municipal Employees Association, which represents 45 city workers.

“As far as I can remember, it’s been 13 years since a cost-of-living-adjustment. I want to thank the city council,” Minor said after work Feb. 27. “Things are looking better for the employees of the city of Calexico.”

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