Archive for Sunday, July 21, 1991


July 21, 1991


If you're a secretary in Lawrence's school district, you're going to get a 1 percent salary increase next year.

If you hold a similar position in the city, your paycheck will be about 4 percent fatter than this year's.

But if you work for the county and you're a real go-getter you might see as pay raise as high as a 6.5 percent in 1992.

Why the discrepancies? It's the result of the three local governing bodies trying different ways to hold down property taxes this year.

The hardest hit local public employees will be those who work for Lawrence School District 497.

The school district is faced with a $2.6 million drop in state aid for the 1991-92 school year. In response, the school board has approved $975,400 in cuts and revenue-generating measures.

The district still is battling with local teachers over their salary increases. Negotiations have reached an impasse, with the district offering a 1.4 percent increase and teachers holding out for a 3.7 percent raise in their base salary.

MEANWHILE, the board has given its classified personnel a 1 percent increase in pay next year. Those hourly positions are in food service, custodial and maintenance, and secretarial and paraprofessional.

The Lawrence City Commission already has reached agreements with bargaining units for firefighters and police for a 4 percent compensation hike next year. The city's 1992 budget proposal, which is to be acted upon by commissioners next month, calls for a 4 percent wage boost for the city's classified personnel as well.

The Douglas County Commission isn't expected to finalize pay increases for county employees until its budget is ready at the end of the month.

However, a merit pay plan being considered could mean some county employees would see an increase as high as 6.5 percent or as low as zero percent.

Chris McKenzie, county administrator, said that county employees this year received a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment, an average 3 percent merit pay increase and a longevity bonus for working 10 years or more.

To save about $147,000 on this year's budget, McKenzie has recommended that employees be given no cost-of-living adjustment.

THEIR PAY increases would be based solely on merit and would come on the anniversary of the date they started work with the county, he said. McKenzie's recommendation calls for a 5 percent average merit pay increase, with the low end zero and the high end possibly 6.5 percent. Employees not eligible for merit increases would receive a 3 percent raise, he said.

A Journal-World check with the county, city and school district showed what similar classified positions would get in terms of raises under the difference plans.

In the school district, a "Secretary 4" position, a mid-level secretarial post that now pays $6.55 per hour, would go up 1 percent to $6.62 per hour. The top range in the Secretary 4 position would go from $9.87 per hour to $9.97.

A similar position in the city, called a "Clerk Typist I," would go up 4 percent, from $6.82 per hour to $7.09 per hour, said Ray Hummert, city clerk. The top level pay scale for that position would go from $8.72 to $9.07, he said.

Pam Madl, county personnel director, said a county secretarial position pays between $7.59 and $9.87 per hour. With a 5 percent merit pay increase, the range would be betweeen $7.97 and $10.36 per hour.

A COUNTY administrative secretary makes between $8.77 to $11.39 an hour. A 5 percent merit pay increase would make the range $9.21 to $11.96 per hour.

A county executive secretary makes between $10.60 and $13.74 per hour. With a 5 percent merit pay increase, the range would be between $11.13 and $14.43 per hour.

The school district's "Secretary 8" position, a top-level post, carries a pay range from $8.74 to $13.64 an hour. With a 1 percent boost, the range would be $8.83 to $13.91 per hour.

The city's top level secretary, called a "Clerk Typist 2," has a pay range from $8.30 to $10.53 per hour. A 4 percent increase puts that range from $8.63 to $10.95 per hour.

The following is a comparison of the pay ranges in other similar positions:

Custodian. The school district now ranges from $4.91 to $12.61 per hour. With a 1 percent pay increase, the range would be $4.96 to $12.74 per hour. At the city, the range was $6.48 to $8.30 per hour. With a 4 percent raise, the hourly range will be $6.74 to $8.63. At the county, the range is from $5.71 to $8.19 per hour. With a proposed 5 percent average merit pay raise, the hourly range would be from $6 to $8.60.

ENTRY-LEVEL skilled maintenance worker. At the school district, the hourly pay would go from $8.74 to $8.83 with a 1 percent increase. At the city, the hourly pay rate would go from $9.63 to $10.02 with a 4 percent raise. At the county, the pay rate would go from $8.77 to $9.21 per hour with the proposed 5 percent merit increase.

Advanced skilled maintenance worker. County, now $11.39 per hour; with proposed 5 percent raise, $11.96 per hour. City, now $12.32 per hour; with 4 percent raise, $12.81 per hour. School district, now $13.65 per hour; with 1 percent raise, $13.79 per hour.

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