Board to discuss across the board raises for city workers 8/18/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Board to discuss across the board raises for city workers

By John Howell
Batesville city officials will gather at 1 p.m. today to continue discussion about a raise for city employees.

Apparently settled in “work session” meetings on August 7 and 13 was that the 2016 budget will include the raise. A question raised by Police Chief Tony Jones during the August 13 meeting prompted the mayor and aldermen to reconsider how it will be applied.

Jones questioned the fairness of an across-the-board annual raise of $800 per employee.
Historically, city employees have received raises as a percentage of their salaries, the police chief said.

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The policy has allowed the police department to retain long-term employees who look forward to greater amounts added to their checks as a percentage with increased years of service, Jones said.

The across-the-board raise creates a greater percentage of increase of lower-paid employees with fewer years of service, Jones said.

Alderman Stan Harrison, who said that he had introduced the across-the-board raise as a “one-time” item in the budget.

“It’s not a new standard of doing business for the city,” Harrison said.

Aldermen agreed to meet one hour ahead of their regular meeting time for today to continue consideration of employee raises and other budget recommendations that surfaced Friday.