UE Local 150, Charlotte City Workers Union Demands Better Pay in Proposed Budget

May 22, 2023

Charlotte, North Carolina

On Monday, May 8, UE Local 150/Charlotte City Workers Union members rallied and marched in the streets from Marshall Park to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Uptown Charlotte chanting “When city workers are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

City workers from departments around the city went to Charlotte City Council meeting — against the advice of department heads and supervisors — to demand higher raises than the six percent raise being proposed in the city budget (three percent in July and a second three percent increase in January of 2024).

Solid waste services worker and Local 150 member Rory Pegram told the council, “I can’t stand that I go home on Fridays when everybody is excited and I am miserable because I got to figure out what to do to make it to Monday.”

“It makes me feel kinda like I’m being slapped in the face,” Local 150 member Kevin Carr told WCNC Charlotte.

Charlotte is a growing city, and that growth depends on the clean sidewalks, pothole-free streets, clean water, and reliable rail services provided by city workers. The Charlotte City Workers Union is demanding that these essential workers deserve to be paid a living wage.

After union members spoke at the May 8 budget hearing, City Council members decided to make some adjustments to the budget. Quoting comments made by Local 150 members, they came up with a new budget recommendation based on the needs of city workers.

The new recommended budget increases the minimum wage for a 40-hour work week from $20 to $22 per hour, and significantly increases raises for workers making under $60,000 per year. They will see increases between 7.2 and 11 percent, depending on their current rate, with the largest increases going to the lowest-paid workers.

$41,600 per year, 11% raise
$45,000 per year, 8% raise
$50,000 per year, 7.2% raise and folks
$60,000 per year, 3% proposed

The council will make adjustments and take an unofficial vote on this later this month, before deciding whether to adopt the budget in June.