Within the next month, League City City Council will vote on an item that will clear up a misunderstanding related to raises granted to EMS staff.

On April 11, City Council postponed a vote that would have granted a $3 an hour raise starting July 3 to all nonexempt EMS positions not included in a rate increase City Council passed last fall. The move would cost the city $42,437 and, going forward, $169,746 annually.

On Sept. 27, City Council granted raises to 347 city employees at a cost of $1.26 million. About $134,000 of that amount was for further City Council-proposed raises of $3 an hour for EMS and telecommunication employees.

Council Member Chad Tressler said he and Council Member Tommy Cones brought the item before council to address a mistake. According to Tressler, an EMS employee hired just before City Council’s Sept. 27 vote would be locked into a lower rate than someone hired just after the vote, meaning an employee who had been with the city longer could be making less than a fresh hire.

“I don’t think any of us intended that,” Tressler said.

Tressler said his understanding of the Sept. 27 vote was the $3 an hour raise would apply to all EMS employees, not just ones hired after Sept. 27, and so he and Cones brought the item before council to correct the error.

“It was my understanding we were raising everybody up to the $24 [an hour] rate for all paramedics and all employees of EMS,” Cones said of the Sept. 27 vote.

However, Mayor Nick Long made a motion to postpone the vote for up to a month to make sure City Manager John Baumgartner comes up with a budget amendment to make up the difference the additional raises will cause. Postponing the vote for one or two meetings will not affect EMS workers because the raises are not scheduled to kick in until July 3 anyway, Long said.

Long’s motion passed 5-3 with Tressler, Cones and Council Member Sean Saunders against.

“I think it would be unjust if we continued to postpone this farther down the line,” Cones said before the vote to postpone. “I think we need to move forward to retain and keep our EMS folks here.”