Non-union, full-time city employees who have had no pay raise in five years will get 2 percent more this year.
The Saratoga Springs City Council voted 4-1 this week to grant some 14 employees the 2 percent raises this year and begin an annual review based on the Consumer Price Index next year.
If the federal CPI for 2013 is higher than 2 percent, the employees will get a raise of equal percentage in 2014. If the CPI is 2 percent or lower, there will be no raise.
The deputy mayor and four deputy commissioners, for example, will see their annual pay increase from $66,691 to $68,024 this year.
“It’s long overdue,” said Accounts Commissioner John Franck, who proposed the raise. He said the city has been holding off giving these employees raises because of budget issues and the general economic climate.
Unionized city employees have seen raises in recent years. Civil Service Employees Association members, for example, received 2 percent raises in 2011 and 2012.
Mayor Scott Johnson said he thought some full-time, non-union city employees deserve more than a 2 percent raise after no raises in five years. He mentioned employees in his own office.
The non-union employees should have their salary reviewed and raises recommended when the various departments propose their new budgets at the end of the year, he said. But Johnson said he is not in favor of a raise connected each year to the CPI.
“I’m in the midst of negotiating union contracts,” he said.
He said while he is looking at “cost containment” in the negotiations, the City Council has granted 2 percent raises that might be seen by the unions as “setting the bar” for raises for them.
Johnson cast the lone vote against the raises.
The positions on the list for raises include two that are currently vacant, including director of human resources.
In order to receive a raise, the non-unionized employees must have been employed full-time for the past six consecutive months without interruption. This means Steve Shaw, the city zoning and building inspector, who returned to city employment less than six months ago, will not receive a raise.
Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan said the total cost of the raises will be just $13,360 for the year, including Social Security benefits. She said she supports the raises for the people who have not received a raise in five years.
This group of city employees is not entitled to overtime pay, the City Council resolution notes.