Can Philadelphia afford to hike pay for poll workers?

The head of Philadelphia’s City Commissioners wants to pay election day workers more. 

City Commissioners Chairwoman Stephanie Singer came to City Council asking for higher pay for election day staff, who haven’t had a raise since 1999.

“Our poll workers work very hard, if you compare our current pay with other major cities we’re pretty far down the list we are right down there with Memphis Tennessee and San Antonio Texas,” said Singer.

The pay raise would cost $1 million more a year and with the tight city budget, some councilmembers aren’t confident the funds were available, including councilman William Greenlee.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“The pay is ridiculous, but as you know we are faced with some tremendous budget problems a lot caused by the state, it’s certainly needed funding I don’t know any of us can sit here right now and say if we can do it or not,” said Greenlee.

The request calls for up to 50 percent increase, from the current $100 per day to $150.

This article was updated to correct an error in the pay information.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal