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Falls Council considering salary supplement payments

11/29/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Faithful employees of Cuyahoga Falls may be rewarded for their loyalty next year.

At the Nov. 26 City Council meeting, an ordinance was introduced to authorize Director of Finance Joe Brodzinski to make salary supplement payments to eligible full-time employees of the city in fiscal year (FY) 2013.

As a result of the nationwide recession in 2008, the full-time bargaining and nonbargaining employees of the city were asked to and accepted concessions so the city would maintain a balanced budget, according to the proposed legislation. The concessions included salary reductions and the cancellation of customary pay increases during the past four years, city officials explained.

“The loyalty, sacrifice and community spirit of the city’s employees has enabled the city to provide high-quality services to its residents notwithstanding the recent unfavorable economic conditions,” the proposed ordinance reads.

City officials said full-time employees currently are not scheduled to receive any salary increases in the foreseeable future.

However, Brodzinski said the city received “unanticipated” one-time estate tax revenues during FY 2012, and this could be used to compensate employees who bore the burden of recession-mandated budget restraints.

The estate tax revenues are not enough to support permanent salary adjustments, city officials explained, but could be divided among the full-time employees before the close of 2013.

The ordinance introduced by Council proposes each full-time employee receive a $3,500 supplement payment next year.

The legislation, if approved, also would provide the clerk of Council and members of Council with a salary supplement payment in the amount of $1,250.

Also during the meeting, new ordinances were introduced that would authorize Mayor Don Robart to enter into a second amendment of contracts with the International Fire Association of Firefighters Local 494; Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council Inc.; and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and a first amendment of contracts with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2662 (AFSCME), and the Utility Workers’ Union of America, Local 399.

According to city officials, the ordinances resulted from ongoing collective bargaining efforts, but the agreements still are tentative.

Also during the meeting, an ordinance was introduced to establish appropriations for 2013.

Council approved one measure during the brief regular meeting: an ordinance to allow for the demolition of several deteriorating structures in the city.

Council will discuss all new legislation during committee meetings Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St. Council will have its next regular meeting Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium.

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