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Oak Creek raises salaries for nonunion workers

Searches for replacement finance director

Dec. 5, 2012

Oak Creek - The Common Council focused on employees Tuesday. From hiring an interim finance director to renewing the city administrator's contract and approving salary benefits for nonunion and part-time employees, personnel talks dominated this week's council meeting.

Mark Wyss retires

Mark Wyss has stepped down as the city's finance director. He will be moving to West Allis, where he served as finance director from 1987 to 2002.

The move wasn't an easy decision for Wyss, who said that West Allis asked him to come back.

"When they first contacted me I told them I wasn't interested," Wyss said. "They called back and asked why I wasn't interested. I said I had no reason to leave."

West Allis was in need of a director, however. Their past director had been gone for over a year, Wyss said.

Citing West Allis' decision to take him in early in his career, Wyss accepted the offer. He plans to work out his career there.

Wyss said he'll miss Oak Creek, adding, "I've got a lot of friends here that, as I told them in an email, I was going to keep in contact with them whether they liked that or not."

Interim director

Oak Creek approved hiring an interim finance director Tuesday. A temporary agreement was made between the city and GovTempsUSA to hire Denise Vandenbush from Dec. 5 to April 5 with an option to lengthen the temporary employment by an additional three months.

Vandenbush will receive $66.50 per hour, at an average rate of 30 hours per week. Her benefits are handled by GovTempsUSA.

The interim director has previous experience as a finance director for the Elmbrook School District, village of Shorewood, city of Milwaukee and private businesses.

New administrator contract

The council approved a new contract for City Administrator Gerald Peterson. The contract increases Peterson's salary from $115,000 to $118,000 per year. This is the first pay increase the administrator has seen since being hired in 2008.

According to Peterson, he and other city staffers volunteered to have no pay increase last year.

"We basically had employees required to pay 6 percent into their pensions, and we thought it wasn't important to increase our pay," he said.

Peterson will have 20 days of paid time-off, which hasn't changed since last year.

Salary increases

The council also voted to increase many midrange salaries for their nonunion and part-time workers. The midrange increase is targeted at those who are in the middle of their salary range and includes those who have worked for a while, but haven't seen reached the maximum amount of salary available.

Twenty-three positions will get salary increases ranging from $300 to $5,000. Although the mid-ranges are increasing, the city is not increasing salary caps.

The city also increased pay for part-time workers. Six positions will see a raise, including clerical help, recreation coordinator and part-time city attorney. The increases range from a $0. 25 hourly increase for park and highway labor to a $6.39 hourly raise for the public nurse.

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