Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Low Pay For Houston City Workers Recalls Death Of Jerry Hines Jr.

City of Houston workers are some of the lowest paid big city municipal workers in Texas.

This information comes from a new Houston city employee effort to raise these poor salaries.

HOPE is an employee union affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and also with the Service Employees International Union.

HOPE has set the website Houston, We Have A Problem to draw attention to the situation.

HOPE points out that many city employees work in sewers and on dangerous roads. From the website—

A new study on city worker pay revealed that Houston‘s city workers make substantially less than their counterparts in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio and other large U.S. cities. The study, commissioned by the City of Houston and conducted by the Mercer consulting firm, found that Houston city workers make up to 21 percent less than the median of workers in these other cities. Many of the occupations in the survey are vital to the City’s quality of life and involved difficult, dirty work.

None of this is a surprise to people who recall the death of Houston city employee Jerry Hines Jr.


Mr. Hines died last January after being hit by a car as he was helping a motorist on an icy highway. According to media reports at the time, Mr. Hines was only making around $17,000 a year.

After the death of Mr. Hines, I e-mailed a letter to Houston Mayor Bill White and to Democratic members of Houston City Council asking why pay for a city employee was so low. The responses I got back either blew me off or defended the low pay earned by city employees.

The Mayor and Council Democrats must take action on this issue.

September 18, 2007 - Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Taxes---Yes!

1 Comment »

  1. WAKE UP HOUSTON!!! Mayor Bill White is very incompetent and he has shown Houstonians time and time again he is way behind the curve on many issues which is absolutely unacceptable for his position. It is apparent to me that his only concern is to further his political career and look good in the media and to he$$ with you or me. He lives behind a gated community, is chauffeur driven to work and has a 5 man police body guard detail assigned to him while the rest of us live in an infestation of crime that he himself created not only by just one error but several. He is the only elected official in Harris county I know of who has tax payer paid for body guards where the rest of us go unprotected. Examples of his ineptness are he is the one who cut the police departments strength by planning and implementing HIS decision to cut the budget by letting retiring officers retire with no intentions at all of replacing them. Also he is the one who lowered not raised police pay packages where as we can not possibly compete with neighboring cities which to this day shows up when cadet classes aren`t even half full in a time when we so desperately are in need of police. Why would anyone want to work for HPD for less when you can go to Belaire,Katy,Missouri City, or Sugar Land for much more money ,much more political support and a lot less crime. Additionally he is also the one who said to the citizens of Houston ” open up your garages to the people of New Orleans ” having full knowledge of the depleted status he had left the police department where as he was well aware of or he should of known the results of such a large influx of people would stretch the police resources way beyond it`s capacity to keep the peace. Resulting in the murder of hundreds of Houstonians which is exactly what happened. Let us not forget the tens of thousands of robberies,burglaries and rapes. If Bill White was in the private sector and not a politician I would sue him for negligent homicide ( 300 counts ) and slaughter his attorney in court as he was fully aware of all the facts I previously mentioned and totally negligent in his actions therefore culpable and responsible for the results I have already pointed out. While some may call him a murderer and it is hard to argue against that, he is at the very least he is guilty of criminal negligence and is not competent enough to hold public office. My only hope is that he ends his political career as soon as his term is over for if it is his intentions to run for governor the State of Texas will take huge step, no make that several steps backwards and we will all suffer more thanks to his bumbling leadership or lack there of.

    Comment by gregg bingham | January 28, 2008

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