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Vinny Palermo fights for higher pay for street maintenance

Street maintenance workers will make more in Omaha this winter but one councilman says it’s not enough.He wanted to pay them an additional $1.40 an hour, but that failed on Tuesday. And he’s fired up.Councilman Vinny Palermo says city employees who plow Omaha streets and fill potholes deserve more.”I would be failing the workers in our city that I know are short if I didn’t bring this up,” Palermo said.But he didn’t have enough support from his colleagues Tuesday.Palermo wanted a $5 increase during winter months but his amendment failed.Instead, the council approved an increase of $3.60. Palermo says that’s just not enough. “I save money every week in here. Nobody listens and now I want to put money into our employees. And nobody’s listening again. Unbelievable,” Palermo said.He says the city needs to pay people more so they’ll keep doing the job.In the last year, six workers transferred out of street maintenance. When it comes to incoming transfers, they haven’t had any. Councilman Don Rowe says he voted against the amendment because they should leave labor negotiations to the professionals. “They’re working to come up to the right numbers. And I’m going to trust that they’re going to come up with the right wage numbers to fill those positions,” Rowe said.Palermo has this message for his colleagues who voted ‘no’:”If you don’t vote for the $1.40 amendment that was proposed today, then you just you’re out of touch with what we actually need for the city,” Palermo said.

Street maintenance workers will make more in Omaha this winter but one councilman says it’s not enough.

He wanted to pay them an additional $1.40 an hour, but that failed on Tuesday. And he’s fired up.

Councilman Vinny Palermo says city employees who plow Omaha streets and fill potholes deserve more.

“I would be failing the workers in our city that I know are short if I didn’t bring this up,” Palermo said.

But he didn’t have enough support from his colleagues Tuesday.

Palermo wanted a $5 increase during winter months but his amendment failed.

Instead, the council approved an increase of $3.60.

Palermo says that’s just not enough.

“I save money every week in here. Nobody listens and now I want to put money into our employees. And nobody’s listening again. Unbelievable,” Palermo said.

He says the city needs to pay people more so they’ll keep doing the job.

In the last year, six workers transferred out of street maintenance. When it comes to incoming transfers, they haven’t had any.

Councilman Don Rowe says he voted against the amendment because they should leave labor negotiations to the professionals.

“They’re working to come up to the right numbers. And I’m going to trust that they’re going to come up with the right wage numbers to fill those positions,” Rowe said.

Palermo has this message for his colleagues who voted ‘no’:

“If you don’t vote for the $1.40 amendment that was proposed today, then you just you’re out of touch with what we actually need for the city,” Palermo said.


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