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August 23, 2011


City Council approves nearly 100 percent increase in managers’ longevity bonuses

by Deena Winter

Just minutes before approving a $146 million municipal budget that requires a nearly 10 percent increase in city property taxes to fund it, the Lincoln City Council gave their team of city managers more than 100 percent increases in a what’s called longevity pay.

Longevity pay — as in, a bonus for having worked for the city for so long. A bonus that the county is considering dropping for employees not represented by a union. Meanwhile, many city employees still get an annual bonus for every decade they’ve worked for the city.

A huge increase in the bonus was approved Monday as part of the labor agreement with the union that represents about 100 managers and professionals, the Lincoln M Class Employees Association. The new contract doesn’t have regular pay raises but instead sets in motion a joint study of those employees’ compensation.

But the contract does include big bump to those longevity bonuses, about a 100 percent increase. In raw dollars, if you work for the city for 10 years, your longevity bonus will rise from $850 to $1,639. For those who’ve worked for the city 30 years, the bonus goes from $2,050 to $3,952.

Only Councilman Jon Camp asked a single question about the labor contract and specifically, the longevity bonuses. While the city’s personnel director skimmed over that part of the contract, saying it would only increase the city’s costs 1 percent, Camp pressed him to acknowledge that the raises actually amount to about a 100 percent increase.

Only Camp and the other Republican on the council, Adam Hornung, voted against the labor contract.

The employees also are entitled to merit raises of up to 4 percent — if they haven’t already topped out in their pay ranges.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. deb
    Aug 23 2011

    Didn’t I read somewhere that the county commissioners were actually thinking of decreasing/dropping longevity pay to balance their budget?

  2. Matthew Platte
    Aug 23 2011

    I wonder how that $2,000 bonus compares to private sector bonuses.

  3. Roger Yant
    Aug 23 2011

    I deserve a bonus for living in Lincoln nearly 65 years and having to put up with idiots (yes I said idiots) who think it is fine that they give out such a huge bonus. Is anyone in the private sector getting or giving out money this freely? Thank you Camp & Hornung, at least you have common sense.

    • jim
      Aug 24 2011

      Please check out LPS…

  4. Jane H Kinsey
    Aug 23 2011

    Watchdogs will be commenting on this on Monday, August 29 as well as other issues, such as
    Omaha City Council had courage to turn down a firefighters contract even without CIR fear:
    Omaha police Chief makes $130,000 a year now and will only reach $150,00 in 5 years while
    ours is way over that as well as the Public Safety Director and assistant police chief. Omaha has a bigger police and fire force to manage and more crime to contain. Does anyone think this is not a “good old boy” system in Lincoln?

  5. Roberta
    Aug 24 2011

    If people really knew what the city employee’s have to put up with they would double the amount. Granted there are always bad apples in the bushel, but for the most part many city employee’s don’t like what has been going on.


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