City officials seek to increase wages for full-time and seasonal city employees
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — One of the best places to work in the city could be for the city.
Early this week, Personnel Committee members approved the move of Grade F positions to Grade G. In translation; a higher wage for full-time regular city employees.
“We have all heard the concerns about living wage, and as a city, we are recommending that we hire nobody full-time below Grade G, Step 1.” said Mayor Mike Wiza.
What the move does is recommend that full-time regular city employees should be paid a minimum salary of $17.74 per hour. This also moves employees currently at Grade F to this level. In general, all pay rates would move to the next step that provides an increase.
The cost comes at an additional $3,816, annually, (wages and associated fringe benefits) according to Comptroller/Treasurer Corey Ladick.
According to an agenda memo from committee members, “We have been meeting as an internal group to identify areas of concern and solutions related to the City’s adopted pay plan. One of those areas of concern is paying a living wage. This will help the City retain and attract talented employees in order to provide services to our citizens.”
In addition, pay rates for seasonal employees will also see a hike. Currently at $9.48 per hour, the move would take that number to $10 per hour. City officials will apply the “COLA” (cost of living adjustment) in this case to justify the increase. Ladick estimates the cost for this hike to be approximately $6,693. Seasonal employees currently work around 31,000 hours per year.
Alder Cathy Dugan went on record to state that the rate for seasonal employees should be even higher than $10 per hour. Alder Slowisnki spoke out and asked officials to make the move now, as opposed to January 1, which was the initial motion.
“I recommend that we make this now and not wait until January 1st,” said Slownski to personnel members. “These guys are one of the most important assets in the community.”
So with his, and the recommendation of others in attendance, that is precisely what they did. If approved by council members, the amended changes would take effect on the beginning of the closest payroll cycle after Sept. 1, 2018.