City worker pay contract before Board of Supervisors Thursday

The Board of Supervisors Thursday holds a public hearing and possible vote on a contract that sets pay rates for city employees.

City Manager Nick Marano said the contract, which moves away from cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to a system based on merit increases, is a good deal for the city. He said the six-year deal gives both sides some certainty going forward.

During the course of those six years, it will cost the city an additional $18.7 million, a figure that includes not only the salaries of city workers but their health, retirement premiums and other benefits. Retirement premiums alone went up in July by 2.25 percent, a factor the city doesn’t control.

If the area suffers another economic slump, Marano said, legislation approved by the 2015 Legislature would make it a lot easier to re-open the contract with employee unions.

Instead of COLAs, he said city workers meeting job expectations would qualify for 3 percent increases. Those above expectations could get 4.5 percent a year and those rated outstanding — just 8 percent or less of the workforce — could get 5.5 percent.

Outside of that, Marano said his team and union officials agreed on a 1.75 percent annual adjustment to pay ranges for each job classification. Marano said that doesn’t affect the majority of workers directly since they would be on the merit system for pay hikes. He said it would affect new hires at the bottom of their pay range and those veteran employees who are “topped out.”

Marano said about 60 percent of the cost is on the city’s General Fund. The other 40 percent is in the Enterprise Funds such as water, storm water and sewer funds.

In addition, the board will consider giving themselves and other Carson City elected officials raises approved by the 2015 Legislature.

The total city budget is about $125 million a year with a large percentage of that devoted to paying employees.

After the public hearing today, the board has the option of voting on whether to approve the contract or putting that vote off until the next meeting.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.


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