ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — City services in Elizabeth City came to a grinding halt Tuesday morning after employees decided to go on strike.

“We are on strike because we are underpaid,” said employee Cody Parker. “They don’t want to pay us what we need to be paid.”

“We want to be treated fairly,” added Daryl Staton. “We’ve been going through this for a long time.”

Employees walked off the job following a Tuesday night City Council vote. The council voted against a budget with a proposed 10-cent increase in property taxes. The hike would give all employees a raise.

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“Why are we here?” asked employee Tommy Hopson. “We are tired of being under-appreciated by this city.”

“You’re trying to provide for your family and stuff, like, it’s important for everyone,” Staton added. “We just want to be treated equally and fairly.”

Councilman Darius Horton, who voted against the budget, says the plan is to still give raises to those employees who need them. He said he wants to see what can be cut in the budget first. He is also against giving raises to department heads and managers.

“We are just tired of being passed over all the time,” Parker added.

“We’ll be here as long as it takes,” said employee Tommy Hopson.

Council members are still working out the numbers. Another budget meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night.