One percent pay raises for city employees are included in the newly adopted 2013 Town and Country city budget. However, employees will have the option next year to forgo the raise until June and then receive a two percent pay raise instead.
(Read Previous Story: Town and Country Approves 2013 Budget)
Mayor Jon Dalton said the proposal is to give employees the option of having a higher base salary at the end of 2013, which is what a future raise would be based upon, while still having the city pay out what's budgeted for city employee raises in the 2013 budget.
They 2013 end payout by the city for salaries will be the same for either option an employee chooses.
Dalton previously stated Town and Country city employees are "second to none" and he believes they should be compensated as such. It is a sentiment shared by aldermen.
"We wanted to have two percent across the board and this gets us there," Dalton explained to aldermen during a meeting discussing this option.
He said despite tough economic times, it's important the city compensate employees for cost of living increases.
"We have always considered market adjustments," Dalton said to aldermen during a meeting discussing this option. "We want to make sure our team here is compensated at or about the top of the market. Which is where they belong."
Dalton said research shows they are at that level.
Alderman Skip Mange said his understanding is that he cost of living increases approximately two percent each year.
"Any increase you give below that is in essence, a decrease," Mange said. He said that he hopes by the next budget, the city's financial situation allows employees raises of a minimum of two percent.
"If our raises don't meet cost of living, they're all losing ground," Mange stated.
Aldermen Fred Meyland-Smith and Phil Behnen developed this pay increase plan and are working working to develop plans for future pay raises.
"We are at or above the competitive set of cities for the most part," Alderman Fred-Meyland-Smith explained. "I'm not talking about every position."