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Most Non-Union Village Employees Get 1.5% Pay Hike

Whitefish Bay police officers and public works employees also get 1.5 percent wage increases through their union contracts in 2012.

The beginning the new year will bring a 1.5 percent salary increase for most non-union village employees.

The village's 24 non-union employees each received a 1.5 percent salary increase, with two exceptions: engineering technician Jeff Jurgens and Village Clerk/Finance Director Jennifer Amerell.

Jurgens received a 10 percent increase - from $48,200 to $53,044, as his position was reclassified.

“As we move into this new environment where we place more duties on the Engineering Department to plan large infrastructure projects, more of the day-to-day duties will be placed on his shoulders,” Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said. “It seems appropriate to compensate him and reclassify his position for the additional work he is expected to do.”

Amerell received a roughly 9 percent increase - from $69,000 to $75,000, which brings her compensation to a similar level of the three other finance directors in the North Shore, DeGrave said.

DeGrave's salary will increase to $106,575; Police Chief Robert Jacob's salary will increase to $96,745; and Village Engineer Daniel Naze's salary will increase to $89,979 next year.

The salary increases came out of the $75,000 contingency fund in the 2012 budget. In a 5-1 vote, trustees voted for the pay raise in open session after a closed session discussion on Nov. 21. Trustee Kevin Buckley cast the sole dissenting vote.

Non-union employees currently pay 8.5 percent of their health insurance premium, and when given the option of keeping the same contribution level or raising the contribution to 9.5 percent or 12 percent, trustees decided to increase the contribution to 9 percent, saving the village $1,450.

Non-union employees are also required to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pension plan, as required by Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, now known as Act 10. Under Act 10, all public employees except fire and police personnel were restricted from bargaining anything other than salary, and that was capped by the consumer price index.

Because police and fire personnel are exempt from the provisions of Act 10, the village reached in September that would raise the salary of officers and detectives by 1.5 percent in 2012. Those employees also received a retroactive 1 percent salary increase effective Jan. 1, 2011. The contract does not apply to sergeants, lieutenants and the police chief, all of whom are non-union employees.

While non-police and non-fire personnel were required to contribute 5.8 percent of their paychecks toward their pension plans, Whitefish Bay police employees hired before July 1 do not have to contribute anything to their pensions.

As required by the budget repair bill, employees hired after July 1 are required to contribute 7.5 percent of their salaries to the overall 14.9 percent pension contribution.

The labor contract also calls for police officers to contribute slightly more toward their health insurance premium, which increased from 8.5 percent to 9 percent of the lowest-costing health insurance plan offered by the state.

The Department of Public Works labor contract, which was approved last year and expires at the end of 2012, includes a 1.5 percent increase in salaries this year. The employee's share of health insurance premiums will also rise this year, with employees paying $100 per month for a single plan and $213 per month for a family plan, according to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article.

Bob McBride December 23, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Who the heck gets a 9% raise in this current economic climate just so they can be "brought in line" with people in similar positions elsewhere? And isn't this the same woman (the finance director) who recommended a one year, no competitive bid contract for the auditing firm she worked for prior to taking the position? That bad decision alone and the lack of professionalism it demonstrates makes the justification for this raise all the more suspect. And at a time when those in the private sector are being asked to take on more just to hold onto their jobs, how is it that our Village Government continues to operate as if personnel were at a premium and need to be enticed with a 10% raise to take on some extra duties? Aren't we supposed to, at the very least, attempt to freeze costs if we can't cut them given the current budget constraints? Who's guarding the henhouse here? Who's looking out for the taxpayer? Union or non-union we shouldn't be handing out unnecessary raises at this point in time. Something stinks here.

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