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City workers set for raises
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Full-time employees with the city of McMinnville could be seeing a little extra in their paychecks in fiscal year 2013-14. If a salary adjustment remains unchanged, they will share $214,000.
Originally considered was a 3.5 percent salary increase for all full-time employees across the board, meaning higher paid employees would get a larger pay increase than lower paid employees.
Finance Committee chairman Ken Smith would like to change the salary increase to a salary adjustment and give every full-time employee $1,400.
“We have three and a half percent built in, which is $214,000,” he said. “I divided that by the number of people who work for us and it came out to $1,400 for every employee.”
According to records, the city has 42 full-time employees that make between $25,000 and $35,000 annually, which is 28 percent of the city’s 145 employees. The median family income in Warren County is about $35,000, with a 17 percent poverty rate.
Smith proposed changing the 3.5 percent salary increase across the board to a $1,400 salary adjustment which would give lower paid employees an equal share of the $214,000.
“A person who makes $25,000 will get the same raise as a person who makes $75,000,” said Smith. “We have a lot of people who are not near as fortunate as those of us around this table. I really believe if we are going to help Warren County grow and the city of McMinnville grow, we need to get the median income up.”
Of the remaining 103 employees, 29 are making between $35,000 and $40,000, 49 are making between $40,000 and $50,000, and 25 are making $50,000 or more.
The $1,4000 adjustment would not be a cost-of-living increase.
“Cost of living is actually 1.7 percent for the last 12 months,” said Smith. “However, even a person who makes $85,000 is almost getting that cost of living increase.”
While the adjust will amount to a 5.6 percent increase for an employee who makes $25,000, the adjustment will amount to a 1.64 percent increase for an employee making $85,000.
Smith says giving everyone the same amount is a moral booster.
“I really think this might help moral. Some of us get to sit in a nice air conditioned office, while others have to work outside in the weather. I have talked to a former CEO who said that he did this one year. The person who worked on the line got the same amount as the officer manager got. He got a bigger percentage in his salary. It boosted moral.”
Of the numbers, employees making $40,000 or less will see more than the 3.5 percent salary increase percentage they would have gotten under the original plan, while employees making $45,000 or more will get less than the original 3.5 percent.
The proposed change was accepted unanimously by Finance Committee members Smith and Aldermen Ben Newman and Mike Neal. A salary change is part of the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14, which is not final and must be approved by the full board.