Higher pay helps attract, retain ‘highest quality’ staff, they say.
By Gary Brodeur, Staff Writer
Posted July 5, 2015 – Updated at 10:53 AM
APPLE VALLEY — An ordinance that details the town’s updated compensation schedule and implements a 3-percent cost-of-living increase for 2015-16 still does not bring earnings up to pre-recession levels, town officials say.
But a resident questioned in a public comment the appropriateness of giving that level of a raise. The cost of living was about 1.5 percent when comparing April to April 2014, according to the state Department of Labor Relations.
Resident David Mueller’s request to comment on the agenda item had the effect of pulling it from the Consent Calendar of the Town Council’s meeting on June 23 for further discussion.
The Salary Schedule and the Classification Plan was approved within the town budget during Council consideration June 9. The schedule required a resolution to modify it for this fiscal year, boosting town salaries by 3 percent. The cost-of-living adjustment includes 2.5 percent for salaries and adds 0.5 percent toward benefits, officials said.
“(The COLA) does not match the rate of eight or nine years ago” when accounting for inflation, Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett told the Council in his presentation June 23. There was a five-year freeze in wage hikes starting in mid-2009 and even some “give-backs,” he said.
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