Fix the problem

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By Ralph Damiani

The council’s action in granting some staff a bonus - or pay allowance or what you want to call it - is cause for pause.

This seems to us to be the wrong solution to the problem and we have to agree with Robert Gibson who voted against the idea.

Even the chair, Michael Wheeler, is quoted in voicing concerns, altough he voted for the plan.

As best as we can understand this, it seems that when the council approved its recent budget it did so failing to take into account a group of employees who have hit the top of their pay scale and can’t get a raise.

So the council wanted to adjust that. But we have two quetions, why is this necessary and if it is so important, why was this not done before?

If there is truly a mistake made in the budget and salary process, fix it. This kind of approach is not the answer and is not in the best interest of anyone.

Giving a 3 percent salary adjustment because of what is being called a mistake is not the way to solve this issue. Fix the salary plan.

Gibson was right on target when  he said, “We seem to be putting a Band-Aid on the problem.”

The comment we disagree with is Wheeler’s. “I’ll vote in favor of this because we’re stuck.”

Why are we stuck? It is very common practice in both private and public industry to have pay scales and grades. And when you top out in whatever grade you are in, that is that.

If you want to get more, you better yourself and get a promotion. Why is the county saying that employees that have topped out in their grade deserve a raise above and beyond is troubling.

But since they do think that, fine, fix the system. This is not the way to deal with it, it is not the proper way to go.

Awarding a 3 percent bonus to some 30 employees – for all we can tell – is simply hitting the top of their grade seems like a dangerous idea.

But be that as it may,  this is not the way to fix the problem.