Council considers pay raises for city employees


JASPER — If all goes as discussed, all full-time City of Jasper employees could receive a 3 percent wage increase for the second consecutive year in 2019, and part-time employees could also see an increase in pay.

Members of the Jasper Common Council discussed raising wages across the board at its annual, daylong budget hearings Thursday. Though nothing in the proposed budget was officially approved, a raise of 3 percent for full-time employees, $1 per hour for permanent part-time employees and 30 cents an hour for seasonal, part-time employees were all discussed favorably by the council. City employees at the top of their earning ranges would still get the raises.

“I think it’s one the best things the council has the opportunity to do,” Mayor Terry Seitz said of the potential raises. He later added that “it’s good to know that they (the council) feel as strongly about our employee base as I do.”

Seitz originally proposed a 1.5 percent raise across the board for full-time employees, but council members shifted the conversation to a higher raise during the hearings.

Throughout the day, each city department walked the council through their proposed budgets and pitched additional ideas for changes they’d like to see next year. Going into the meeting, their requests totaled $20,427,607, but additional requests made throughout the hearings — including the increased raises — were not reflected in this number. Also among those were requests for various salary range increases and items that department heads deemed necessary equipment.

“At this point, we’re going to see how it fits into the budget,” Clerk-treasurer Juanita Boehm said of the proposed raise amount in a phone interview this morning.

The budget is formed after the departments submit their requests and City Financial Coordinator Sharon Sander compiles them. She explained that what the city can fund is determined by estimated revenue for the remaining current year and next year, tax revenue and leftover dollars from previous years.

“It all gets lumped together into one big number,” she said. “So, to say exactly where it needs to be, we don’t know until we pull it all together.”

The budget proposal will be further hashed out and finalized at another hearing at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the Pfaffenweiler Room at Jasper City Hall.

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