FOP President Speaks Out On Raises - Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 10:04
Hobart budgets employee raises

HOBART | The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday night that budgets a $3,000 raise for most city firefighters and police officers in 2007 and includes a budgeted 5 percent raise for most other city employees.

The raise ordinance also includes increasing the maximum pay for a part-time paramedic from $15 an hour to $17 an hour.

Earlier this month, the council approved an ordinance that would budget a 5 percent raise for elected officials.

Because it is not known what the city's 2007 budget will be at this point, the raises could be eliminated or reduced when the budget for next year is more clear, Clerk-Treasurer Deborah Longer said. Each percentage of a raise costs the city between $100,000 and $120,000, Longer said. The city is expected to get about $280,000 in new money next year, according to a recent local government budget workshop, Longer said. Although she said she thought that amount may be conservative, she said it wasn't unrealistic.

"It's not good, but it's real," she said.

The raise for police and firefighters will be applied to the base pay for first class officers, or those who have been with the city for at least two years. Currently, a first class firefighter's base salary is $39,516 and the first class police officer's salary is $40,445.

Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Trinosky said the $3,000 increase for first class police officers brought the city's pay more in line with the average pay across the county. But he feared the city's pay scale would be behind the average again once other departments got raises for 2007.

Trinosky said he was relatively satisfied with the raise.

"It's certainly better than zero or 3 percent, but it's not quite what we hoped for," Trinosky said. "We want to be able to bring good people here and take care of the guys that are already here."

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:07 AM CDT

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