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Surprise police, fire unions want raises

PHOENIX — For the past seven years, city of Surprise employees have gone without raises.

Now, city leaders say they want to change that, but not everyone’s happy with the process.

Julie Moore, secretary for the Northwest Firefighters Association, said public safety unions reached a deal with the city manager to get all the raises this year, but now some council members are considering spreading out the money over two or three years.

“It really just creates distrust and morale factors,” Moore said.

Moore said firefighters who have spent seven years on the job are still getting entry level pay. She worries Surprise will lose experienced firefighters to other cities.

“Back in the late ’80s, early ’90s, Glendale lost 22 firefighter-paramedics to the City of Phoenix due to frozen pay issues,” she said.

A spokesperson for the City of Surprise said it is premature to discuss the issue. Council members could approve a tentative budget during Tuesday’s meeting. Moore said she expects many police and firefighters to be in attendance.