Sanitation workers protest proposed pay changes

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COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus sanitation workers converged on Tuesday’s city council meeting to oppose the pay changes in the proposed budget.

More than 50 workers packed into the meeting room to fight the proposed changes such as how often they’re paid and when they’ll be required to work.

One proposal they’re unhappy about would change their pay periods from bi-weekly to every three weeks. Another proposal would require them to work holidays.

One worker also told WRBL the workers haven’t received a significant pay increase in about eight years. The budget needs to be approved by July 21.

Also on city council’s agenda was a vote on whether Leonard Street should be closed to expand the Saint Paul United Methodist Church.

The church, located near Columbus High School, plans to build a 15,000 square foot youth center in the middle of the church’s back parking lot.

To make up for losing the lot, the church wants to demolish two buildings it owns. But some neighborhood residents aren’t too happy about the plan.

“We’re here all the time and we feel like taking down more houses, more trees, closing down our street that we use everyday is not the right thing to do. We are property owners, we pay property tax on these streets. They are a private organization and they don’t pay any taxes,” resident Debbie Corley said. “We feel that they are destroying our neighborhood by adding more asphalt, taking down more trees when they’ve got plenty of room right here to build their youth building. We’re happy for them to expand, we just don’t want it to be at the destruction of our neighborhood.”

Church administrator Tim Farmer did not want to comment on camera, but did say they’re trying to be good neighbors and want to avoid controversy.

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