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City employees may get 2% pay increase

February 19, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The City of Hagerstown's 124 salaried employees might get a cost-of-living adjustment this year because city officials decided Tuesday to delay restructuring salaries.

City Council members might vote next Tuesday to grant the 2 percent raise to all of its nonunion employees, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

The proposed restructuring of the salaries hasn't been thrown out, but will require more work since several council members were not satisfied with it, Zimmerman said.

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The proposal was the result of a $9,000 study to restructure salaries to make them more equitable. Some positions were being underpaid or overpaid, officials said.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said she wanted to know how the salaries of city employees compared with those of employees with similar jobs in the private sector.

Councilman Fred Kramer said he wanted the pay scale to be based on performance.

The revised proposal presented to the council no longer included the performance-based bonuses that were presented last November.

The idea of paying employees bonuses for good performance was not well received by employees and managers, but should be considered in the future, said Eric Marburger, the city's personnel manager.

Since all of the council members' concerns could not be addressed with the study, Marburger suggested giving employees the cost-of-living raises since they had been expecting salary adjustments earlier in the year.

The cost-of-living adjustments for salaried employees, budgeted at $47,793, would be retroactive to Jan. 6, Marburger said.

Salaried or nonunion employees include personnel department workers, secretaries to department managers, some higher level professional and technical positions and all supervisors, including the city administrator.

The proposed salary restructuring would have resulted in a raise for almost every nonunion employee this year, with individual raises ranging from $3,700 to no raise, Marburger said.

Only one employee would have received a $3,700 raise, because one position was extremely underpaid, while most raises would have fallen between $1,483 and no raise.

The average annual raise would have been $782, Marburger said.

Six employees would not have received raises because their salaries are above the maximum for the proposed new grade, he said.

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