NORTH OGDEN -- Employees will get a one-time, lump sum, 3 percent pay increase by June 30, but no raises have been approved in the budget for next year.
At a recent meeting, the city council unanimously approved the one-time payment but is unsure what will happen next year.
The question arises because the council advised staff to expand the study done by a large committee earlier this year. The council wants to have the results of the expanded study before making a decision on future pays raises.
The results of the study showed that employees are paid less than others doing the same jobs, both in government and in the private sector. Some employees were found to be paid up to 20 to 30 percent less than other performing the same work.
Employees have not had a cost-of-living increase for at least three years.
Councilman Wade Bigler suggested waiting until the 2014-15 fiscal budget to consider raises, no matter what the results of the study are. He said the council is giving the employees $90,000 in cash out of this budget, and he doesn't want them "double-dipping" into next year's budget for more money.
"Are they going to forget they got the lump sum in cash ... and then ask for more?" Bigler asked with concern.
Councilman Brent Taylor said he doesn't want to wait that long to revisit employee wages. He doesn't want to ignore the study.
"The study showed our employees are underpaid far beyond 3 percent," Taylor said.
He thinks it would be a mistake to wait until 2015 to make a change.
Mayor Richard Harris said getting going on the salary ranges now is key to the rest of the study.
"I hate to wait too long," he said of revisiting overall raises.
Taylor said the council can take another look at the budget when the study is complete and make a decision then.
The council was reminded by City Finance Director Bryan Steele that the item was discussed back in April and that they did discuss reopening the budget when the results of the study came in.
The staff is studying how long employees have been in jobs and how the salary ranges compare with that information factored in -- an item that was left off the study.
Bigler said he doesn't want the administration making those decisions about raises, but other council members reminded Bigler that employee raises are always a council decision and that it would be a good idea to have the discussion about it when the study is complete.