The city council approved its compensation and benefits plan during last week’s meeting. While most employees have received a two percent cost of living increase as of July 1, several department heads have said they will forego the increase.
The two percent increase was negotiated over a year ago by various city union groups. This is the second year of a two-year agreement. The city currently has three bargaining units.
There is also a management group that is not union-represented. This is the group that agreed not to take the salary increase. This group normally negotiates an agreement similar to the other bargaining units.
The move will save the cash-strapped general fund approximately $16,000; the overall savings to the budget was not stated. The savings had previously been included in the 2016-17 budget, which originally showed a $414,000 deficit going into budget study sessions.
Among the positions passing on the pay increase were the city manager, chief of police, deputy chief of police, community development director/building officer, communication/records officer, finance director, city clerk/assistant to the city manager, executive administrative assistant to the chief and the interim public works superintendent.
The interim public works superintendent position was reinstated earlier this year by City Manager Dr. Kindon Meik. The city has been without a public works director since June of 2015; an interim public works director was in place on a part-time basis until about March.
The original public works superintendent position was dissolved in 2010 with the retirement of Albert Solis. His salary was then partially divided among other personnel who assumed many of the position’s duties.