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Longevity, merit push city raises near 7 percent

Thursday, August 2, 2012

McCOOK, Nebraska -- While the proposed city budget includes a 2.5 percent wage increase, the actual increase is closer to 7 percent when merit and longevity increases are included, according to an analysis of budget figures.

The proposed 2012-13 McCook city budget reflects an annual increase of $220,447 to city employee wages, in the form of merit and longevity increases combined with a 2.5 percent wage increase. The actual requested 2.5 percent city wage increase represents a little more than a third of the overall proposed increase, with merit increases budgeted to account for the largest portion of the overall increase.

Merit increases represent a $80,520 annual increase, with the 2.5 percent wage increase accounting for $80,357 and annual longevity increases amounting to $59,570.

Those three items also do not include any increase in cost to the city for employee health insurance, which City Manager Jeff Hancock said Monday evening amounted to more than $7 per hour for every employee. Hancock estimated the annual cost of health insurance to the city to be at $15,000 for every full time employee.

Annual merit increases were higher than the announced annual wage increase last year as well. Merit increases in the 2011-12 city budget accounted for an annual increase of $76,487 and the then 2 percent annual wage increase totaled $61,086. Longevity increases for that budget were $59,570.

The consumer price index, all urban consumers, for the 12 month period of February through January is again noted in the city budget as the standard used for the city when considering across the board salary adjustments. The CPI is compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and calculates monthly data on changes in the prices paid by consumers for certain goods and services.

For the time-frame indicated the CPI increased by 2.9 percent, which is comparable to the 2.5 percent requested city wage increase. The overall proposed wage increase for 2012-13 reflects a 6.8 percent annual increase in employee wages when including merit and longevity increases.

Similarly the 2011-12 budget announced a 2 percent across the board wage increase with a 1.6 percent CPI increase. The overall 2011-12 wage increase was 6.2 percent when including merit and longevity increases.

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where do i sign up for a job with the city i have gotten some good raises before but never a 7% raise and then they want to tax my cell bill antoher 6% i just don't get it

-- Posted by mbrownsl on Thu, Aug 2, 2012, at 2:48 PM

I am glad I am leaving this tax crazed town enjoy it, the rest of you. Along with that eye sore thats being built on west 5th the architects saw McCook coming and sold them a bill of goods for a horrendous building. Its the worst building I have ever seen.

-- Posted by g-man on Thu, Aug 2, 2012, at 6:38 PM

Be careful where you move gman. The past several audits have shown that McCook spends less per citizen on city services in nearly every category than other Ne. cities our size and was under the overall spending average. The county levy in the past has also been one of the lowest in the state. Nobody likes taxes but we have cheap government in McCook and Red Willow county compared to others

-- Posted by dennis on Fri, Aug 3, 2012, at 7:59 AM

To answer your question mbrownsl..... Uuuuummmm, have you tried stopping into the City Office for a list of available positions? That would be MY first stop. As far as taking advantage of the raises though, I'm not certain you might qualify.... If you can't figure out where to go for a job, when you know where you want to work, it doesn't lend much confidence in your problem solving skills.

You may want to hold on to what you've got, just a suggestion.

-- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Aug 4, 2012, at 11:07 PM

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