Salary hikes? Try an attitude adjustment

Salary hikes? Try an attitude adjustment


A note to the Bristol Town Council and Town Administrator Tony Teixeira: Call them “salary adjustments,” hikes, anything you want. Just don’t expect Bristol residents to call them anything other than what they are: Pay raises. And don’t expect them to be happy about it.

The council’s 3-2 decision Monday to award “salary adjustments” and pay raises to many town employees — some as high as 13 percent — is a slap in the face to every cash-strapped Bristol resident who will be asked to foot the bill (story, page 1).

While many in the private sector are happy just to have a job and have long given up on any kind of security or (heaven forbid) a pension, municipal workers already treated to paid birthdays off, generous longevity bonuses, union protection and myriad paid “holidays” are looking forward to raises and “adjustments” made, in some cases, simply to bring their salaries closer to their counterparts in other towns. Meanwhile, ordinary residents who likely won’t see any more in their pocketbook this year will have to dig deeper to pay their tax bill, if the budget passes as presented.

Apart from sending the wrong message, the notion that the town must increase employees’ compensation so they won’t jump ship for other municipal jobs in Warren, East Providence or elsewhere is absurd. First, where are those jobs, anyway? Second, Bristol pays its workers a decent wage and probably won’t have any trouble filling vacancies created by whoever leaves if they don’t get a raise.

Times are changing. Private sector employers are doing away with regular raises, asking their workers to put in more hours, oftentimes for less, and furlough days are becoming common. Companies are reducing 401K contributions or discontinuing them altogether.

Tough as they are to swallow, companies are making many of these changes simply to survive. And as much as we sympathize with workers who haven’t gotten a raise in three, four or five years, it’s a tough economy. Town officials can talk all they want about equity, fairness and rewarding employees for loyalty and a job well done, but most ordinary folk aren’t buying it.

They can’t afford to pay those raises.


  1. Last year my husband recieved a raise, but it was eaten up by increases in his healthcare to a point where his paycheck was $40.00 short each week. I wonder if that is what will happen to these raises?

  2. Are the Bristol residents happy about the salary adjustments recently voted in by their town council? At a time when budgets are strapped everywhere what could possibly justify these raises? This is insanity! Private sector people are tightening their belts and stretching their dollars as far as they can, and municipality employees just keep getting raises? What is wrong with the work force today that they think that people should be REWARDED for a job well done? Shouldn’t the goal of every employee be to do a good job?
    And what is this idiotic notion that they MUST be given raises or they will leave? There would be at least 5 qualified people in line to take each job if that happened.
    Where is the money coming from? From the surplus?

  3. Any town council votes concerning increased spending should have more than a 3-2 margin.

    I hope voters see who is spending their money so freely and vote them out on their rears appropriately.

    One of the Town Councilors has $7 million in tax exempt property which the Town sure could use on the tax rolls right now. Of course technically I suppose revenues from those commercial rentals goes to the ‘Yachting Hall of Fame”. You know the Quonset hut on Hope Street.

    Riddle me this. If the Yachting Hall of Fame is in Bristol why are people inducted to it in New York or why didn’t the America’s Cup come to Bristol?

    This is just a tax scam as that place brings in the big NOODLE for the Town tax wise.

  4. solutions to pay adjustment: make any and all jobs that can be done by private companies go to private companies. make all public office holders have a ten year life-time term limit (not the office but the office holder has the term limit (thank you for your service, now go away)).

  5. Silly wrabbits, the government class is not like you and me. They NEVER take a hit. This was Tony T’s kiss for the election win.

    If the raise wasn’t “for the kids” then you must be “against the elderly” to deny any and all raises.

    To my surprise Tim Sweeney is the only one with a conscience but then again his law firm did just get a nice little town contract.