Paying our bills, and extras

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  1. Terri

     /  June 12, 2017

    I served on the OWASA board for 6 years and for 5 of those years I argued that a flat rate for employee performance increases was the most democratic approach. At the common 2% award, someone earning $100K a year, would get a $2,000 annual salary increase. Someone earning $35K would get $700. Another way to look at this is that 3 employees at the lower salary rate earn the same as 1 employee at the higher rate. We could have paid a $1,500 flat rate to everyone for the same budget as we paid the percentage rate. But even that slightly less increase was enough to cause the traditionalist to claim injustice for the higher income workers.

    Is good performance really dependent on original salary or is good performance good performance? I believe it should rewarded equitably.

    The first couple of years, I argued alone but slowly others began to join me. We never reached a majority but came very close. I hope at least a couple of those board members who are still serving will continue the fight for economic justice.

  2. Bonnie Hauser

     /  June 12, 2017

    There are broader questions – one is whether people are being paid competitively – and does their salary keep up with inflation.

    The rewards for public service jobs are not money – but people deserve to be paid for their contribution and experience. Salary compression can create serious problems for morale.

    IMO, the wealth gap is not between people making $150,000 or $40,000. Its people making millions on the backs of low wage employees. That’s not a problem here.

    Here’s UNC’s comparison of county salaries 2017. Is there a similar benchmark for towns?

  3. plurimus

     /  June 13, 2017

    First, there is a “market rate” for most jobs. Raises should not go on forever in the same job unless market forces drive it up. Promotions should increase salary with responsibility. Salary should also be considered in the context of other benefits and perks such as heath care, savings/investment matches and education reimbursement. Total compensation is the yardstick.

    Second, salary is not for rewarding performance bonus payments are. Bonus should be reward for above and beyond commitment and accomplishment in a given fiscal year and in my opinion be team based.

    As far as CEO and executive pay Bonnie is bang on. The amounts paid to Execs while simultaneously giving them government funded welfare such as deferred income, reduced taxes on options, indemnifying them legally from questionable decisions and other financial candy is disgraceful and harmful to our society at every level.

    Third democratic approaches do not work. It isn’t a popularity contest. Corporations are not democracies, trying to run them as such shows a lack of adequate ownership and leadership.