By Ken Ross
The Cherokee City Council voted 3 to 2 to reject raises for full-time city employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement or by an individual contract.
At the Tuesday meeting, the council was presented with a proposal for 3 percent across the board increase for several individuals. The individuals and their current salaries are:
Police chief - $45,775.69 per year
Park superintendent, street superintendent, wastewater superintendent, city clerk/treasurer, water superintendent - $41,304.90 per year.
Library director - $33,000 per year.
Police secretary - $12.56 per hour.
Park laborer/cemetery sexton - $13.95 per hour.
Adult librarian - $14.42 per hour.
Children's librarian - $13.58 per hour.
The hourly paid position in the list had at one time been salaried positions but new federal requirements resulted in those positions being made hourly.
There are longevity increases that are automatic for the hourly employees, unaffected by the actions at the Tuesday meeting.
The council approved 25 cents per hour increases for part time employees, whose current wages range from $7.50 to $9.30 per hour.
The city administrator's salary is currently $68,260. Raises in his salary had been negotiated in 2004 for a period through 2006.
The remaining employees are under one of two collective bargaining agreements, one for police department employees and one for other employees. These employees received a 3 percent wage increase that go into effect as of July 1.
The council had budgeted 3 percent for salary increases including those not under the collective bargaining agreement.
A motion to grant salary increases as proposed died for a lack of a second.
Doug Woods, council member, noted that the 3 percent increase of those under collective bargaining would be less money than the 3 percent of department head salaries.
Woods opposed the idea of giving a percentage raise, prefering an across-the-board dollar amount. He proposed giving all full-time employees not covered under collective bargaining or individual contract $1,000 a year. The wages of hourly paid employees would be adjusted accordingly.
The motion died for lack of a second.
Ron Johnson, council member, said the city is hurting financially now and shouldn't be giving pay raises. He made a motion that there should be no pay raises for those full-time employees on the list.
Dwight Varce, coucnil member, questioned whether that meant the empoyees represented by a union got a raise while those not represented woudl not get a raise.
"That's how it looks to me," Strickland responded.
Johnson, Woods and Marty Zauhar voted for the motion. Varce and Bill Troth voted against that motion.