City gives pay raises

Council passes salary adjustment package 4-1

A small crowd of city employees, mostly police officers, attended a special session of the Minden City Council Monday morning. The only item on the agenda: passing roughly half a million dollars in raises for City of Minden personnel.

“As best we can, this will get every employee in every job description on the same level,” Mayor Tommy Davis said.

The salary package will provide raises for roughly 175 city employees. The measure was adopted in a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Wayne Edwards voting against. The changes will take effect on the pay period beginning March 29.

The package includes additional seniority raises, with employees who have been with the city for 5-15 years receiving a one-step increase and anyone working longer than 15 years receiving a two-step increase.

Attendees stood and cheered when the measure was passed. Every police officer and firefighter, with the exception of each department’s chief, will receive a $2,800 increase to their yearly salary, in addition to any seniority increases.

Regular employees operate with a pay range that allows for numerous “step” increases within each range. For each type of city job, if the ranges for workers were already equal, they will all be moved up. If the ranges were unequal, all other employees in the same job will have their ranges moved to match the highest current range.

“We tried to get everyone who’s doing a like job in a like position all over the city into the same range,” Davis said. “We had some inequities there, so we tried to address those.”

In addition, most part-time city employees will have their hourly rate changed from $9.25 to $9.75 or higher. No worker at any position will receive decreases as part of this package.

Before the vote, Edwards expressed concern about the package’s effect on the city’s budget. In his response, Davis said the difference must initially come out of the general reserve, but he does expect that to be the case long-term.

The only way we can actually guarantee it, since we have not adjusted the budget, is to take it out of the reserves,” he said. “But I do not believe in the long run that a lot of it will have to come out of the reserve. Sales tax is up some 15 percent for the year. I anticipate that sales tax is going to continue to remain steady, so in the long run I think we’re going to be okay with this.”

Davis also said he does not expect the package to affect the 2018-2019 budget.

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