GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) —  A group of people attended Tuesday night’s Greensboro City Council meeting to get better pay and benefits for the people who pick up our trash and make sure our water turns on.

Dozens of them rallied outside the city council chambers before the meeting.

Some of the workers said they’re struggling to pay for basic needs. They’re tired of working multiple jobs.

They asked the city council to consider their positions when conversations about next year’s budget begin. The city’s current minimum wage is $15.91, and workers want more.

“We need $20 an hour,” said Christopher Yancey, who works for Greensboro Water Resources.  “To be honest, I don’t think that’s going to be enough.”

Yancey spoke to city council members Tuesday night on behalf of the roughly 3,100 city workers.

“We just want y’all to help us out because we feel like an afterthought,” he said.

Yancey and a group of other workers from various departments have a list of demands centered around higher wages and more incentives for these workers who help keep the city running.

“We want to be heard just as much as the police and fire department,” Yancey said.

Some of the council members, like Sharon Hightower, said they want city workers to get the same attention as other public safety workers in wage discussions.

“I want us to have a fair and equitable look at all of our departments,” Hightower said.

Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson agreed.

“God only knows what it would be like to get your garbage collected or your water turned off,” she said. “I will be advocating for that in the budget”

A spokesperson with the city told FOX8 that in order to increase the minimum wage by a little more than four dollars, it would need to be planned and budgeted for.

In a statement, Jake Keys said: “it would not fit in the last portion of our Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget.”

“We have a lot of people in our department hurting right now. They’re concerned about what direction the city is going to go,” Yancey said.

Workers are also requesting hazard pay when they have to work in bad weather as well as lower insurance premiums.

So far, they said they’re happy with the council’s response and said this won’t be the last time they bring up their concerns.