Some Escondido city employees and their families are upset city manager Clay Phillips recently increased the pay of a group of top managers with annual salaries above $100,000.
City employees, including police officers say, for years, they've had their pay frozen and benefits rolled back to help budget the city funds.
On Wednesday, several protested the recent pay increase approved by Phillips carrying signs declaring "Police work doesn't pay."
Last week, Phillips sent out a letter saying he stands by his decision and considered a variety of reasons when making his choice.
Fellow Escondido City Councilwoman Olga Diaz told NBCSanDiego why she participated in Wednesday's protest.
"I'd be perfectly happy to move on to somebody more neutral, that would be able to regain the confidence and respect of our employees," Diaz.
Labor leaders have demanded that other city employees receive similar raises.
"We have officers losing their homes, we have officers filing bankruptcy, officers having to take 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, they've had to put off planning their families because of the way the city’s been treating us," said Paul Woodward with the Escondido Police Officer's Association.
Escondido mayor Sam Abed supports the raises according to our media partner the North County Times.
Abed said that cuts to middle management has saved the city much more than the $200,000 annual cost of the raises and so the savings should go to the managers who have picked up the slack, the paper reported.
The paper also printed the names of the employees who received the raises and their salaries. Among those listed, two received raises that were more than 20 percent of their previous salary.
The council was scheduled to review Phillips' job performance Wednesday. That session was closed to the public.