Town board mulls employee wage increases
October 3, 2012
As many as 13 Windsor employees may see wage increases in the near future, pending further approval from the Windsor Town Board, which remained overwhelmingly hesitant on the issue.
The move was discussed during a lengthy work session Monday in which board members and town officials wrestled with the idea of shouldering more than $54,000 to bring all employees to the minimum wage level based on peer communities while simultaneously reclassifying a number of job descriptions.
A survey, initially discussed Sept. 10, found several gaps in an otherwise thriving payment structure in Windsor. Specifically, the study from Broomfield-based Professional Management Solutions states many people are doing more work outside their initial job description — an result some said was due to changing times.
In order to maintain competitiveness and keep the best workers, the recommendation was to bring positions up to par and attract the best possible candidates for each role.
"You should never be content," said Town Manager Kelly Arnold. "You should always seek the best. I believe in paying a fair wage that is competitive."
Some board members, however, remained hesitant.
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"I certainly don't want to shortchange anybody," said mayor pro-tem Kristie Melendez, stressing the at-times lower incomes found in Windsor and broader Weld County when compared to nearby jurisdictions.
"I'm put in this position by the people, for the people," she added. "Therefore, I believe it should be reflective of the people."
Board member Jeremy Rose agreed.
"When times are tough, things shift. You take it or you leave," he said, highlighting his experience in the private-sector and the benefits of competition, regardless of pay. "We (employers) make decisions based on what we can do."
The deciding factor appeared to stem from two previous waves of reclassification in recent years that helped to bring workers to the regional minimum. Members felt that it was only fair to continue the third and final wave of changes, though they stressed a need to look at potential changes in the future on the town's pay system and evaluation.
"I'm having a hard time getting comfortable with the recommendations," Mayor John Vazquez said before agreeing it only seemed fair to follow suit — at least this time.
The final measure — still up for discussion and changes — is expected to go before the board in the coming meetings and will likely be a major topic during the Oct. 6 budget retreat. The complete study is available at http://www.windsorgov.com.