7.5 percent raises coming for 450 city employees
The Journal Star is reporting that the CIR rulling I wrote about earlier today will pave the way for a contract to be signed with a city employee union that will include 7.5 percent raises for that employee group.
The labor union is called the Public Association of Government Employees, or more commonly known as PAGE, and it represents more than 450 clerical, technical and blue-collar employees. So a nice raise is apparently on the way for those 450 employees, compliments of the state system of setting salaries — which requires the city to pay salaries that are commensurate with those employees’ peers in other comparable sized cities, regardless of the city’s financial health.
Now that the CIR has ruled on some issues PAGE had brought to them, I suppose the union and city can settle their labor agreement — and I believe Nancy HIcks is right, I’d heard that agreement called for like 8 percent raises (7.5 percent rounded up).
This is an example of the problem many people have with Nebraska’s salary-setting system: The city has a projected $6.3 million budget shortfall (plus $1.8 million we’re about to lose in state aid) and that’s not counting raises that will need to be given to most city employees — and yet the system doesn’t allow flexibility during hard times. Thus, the whole CIR debate in the Legislature.
Nancy’s story indicates the “compromise bill” that appears to be coming out of committee in the Legislature would require the CIR to also take into account retirement and health insurance benefits when deciding cases. I’m not sure that will solve this problem.