RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Raleigh City Council is discussing pay increases for police officers and firefighters in its upcoming budget.

A new budget proposal would increase minimum starting salaries, but local police and fire organizations said that doesn’t help retain their current employees. 

Outside Raleigh City Hall dozens of members of the Raleigh Police Protective Association and the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association lined the sidewalk calling for better pay.

People associated with Raleigh Police Protective Association and the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association lined sidewalks asking for better pay (Brea Hollingsworth).

“What we want the city to acknowledge is the fact that we have a retention problem when it comes to our police department,” Matt Cooper said, the President of the Raleigh Police Protective Association.

He said his organization wants to see a 10 percent raise for officers across the board. They’re also asking for the ability to choose overtime pay instead of compensatory time to help with daily staffing shortages.

“They need to give us our raise for both new employees and also our veteran officers because veteran officers have left this police department over the last several years to other police departments.”

The Raleigh Firefighters Local 548 is also asking for something similar.

The organization’s president, Andrew Davis, is asking for a minimum starting pay of almost $53,000 with a 4 percent step increase per year of service and 10 percent raises for all employee promotions. He points to the rise in the cost of living as to why the organizations are asking for a pay increase.

“You would think that with buildings going up every day, population exploding that the fire department not only staffing levels but pay would keep up with the exploding population around here so we’re really not asking to be greedy here we’re asking for fair,” Davis said.

At Monday’s budget meeting the council considered both organizations’ proposals. They plan to continue discussions at another budget meeting next week.