Silt plans raises for workers, despite the economy
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SILT, Colorado – In a seeming contradiction to national economic trends, municipal employees here are soon to be eligible for merit pay raises.
At least two Silt trustees voiced skepticism about the idea at a town board meeting Monday.
“With the economy that we have, if we’re starting to talk about giving raises, it seems like an oxymoron,” said Mayor Dave Moore.
The proposal came from town administrator Pamela Woods, who told the trustees she wanted to be able to offer raises to employees who work harder than normal, or do an exemplary job.
Earlier this year she won board approval to include $28,000 in the proposed 2012 budget to award raises to employees she feels deserve them.
And this week, the board agreed to consider a resolution formalizing a new merit pay raise policy, which Woods said she will have ready for approval on Dec. 12.
Another skeptic of the idea was Trustee Paul Taylor.
“If an employee does 120 percent, he gets a merit raise,” Taylor said. But an employee who performs at 100 percent, Taylor said, is merely doing the job as expected and does not necessarily deserve a raise.
Asked what he meant by 120 percent, Taylor said, “way above and beyond what you would expect an employee to do.”
Woods pointed out that some employees were being paid well below what she felt they deserved, viewed strictly as a base pay rate, when she took over as town manager in August 2010.
She told the Post Independent that she spent about $5,000 to bring four positions up to the salary level she felt was appropriate. Now she wants to be able to reward extra dedication on the job.
Trustee Rick Aluise supported Woods’ proposal, pointing out that Silt’s financial health appears to be pretty sound right now, and the town should award raises if the budget allows.
According to Woods, the town currently is projecting approximately $800,000 more in revenues than the anticipated expenses in the proposed 2012 budget.
“Everything is in the black,” she said.
Other towns in the region, Aluise told his fellow trustees, might not be able to dole out favors to their workers, but Silt can.
The $28,000 figure, Woods said, represents a 2 percent raise for each of the town’s 23 full-time employees, if it turns out that all of them deserve merit raises.
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