SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Many city employees in Salisbury haven’t had a raise in six years, but a new analysis shows the cost of benefits is substantially increasing city spending.

An analysis by The Daily Times shows spending on salaries, benefits and employee costs have jumped 52 percent in the past decade, from $17.4 million in 2004 to $26.6 million.

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There hasn’t been a hiring spree, though. The city added just 45 staff members over the past 10 years, an increase of 13 percent.

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Mayor Jim Ireton and other city officials say the rising cost of health insurance, pension costs and last year’s police-only raises have caused the increase in spending.

The City Council has passed a salary increase for city employees, costing $1 million. But it could be difficult to sustain.

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