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Oak Creek freezes employee pay for 2014

Dec. 3, 2013

Oak Creek — The Common Council created new positions, eliminated others and froze pay for part- and full-time workers for 2014 during a recent meeting.

Engineering shifts

City employee Brian Johnston is being moved into the newly created assistant city engineer position, getting a $5,000 boost in annual pay with the change. His existing position of development engineer is being eliminated, along with a vacant construction engineer position.

The engineering department had budgeted for both positions, so eliminating them more than accounts for the creation of the position, City Administrator Gerald Peterson said. The city also will have extra money to hire temporary workers during the summer construction season, he added.

City Design Engineer Sue Winnen will see a shift in responsibility and pay in 2014. Her new title will be "environmental engineer" and she will be tasked with the same responsibilities she had in her old position, plus grant writing, brownfield oversight and green infrastructure design.

She is slated to get a raise from her current salary of $76,288 to $82,881 by either 2016 or 2017.

Human resources change

The second new position voted on by the council will be the new human resources manager, to be hired at a prospective pay range of $74,602 to $82,881 annually. Peterson said the city uses labor attorneys for human resources matters along with help from himself and personnel specialist Marie Kreif.

The new position will reduce attorney fees by $50,000, Peterson said.

In his report to the council, Peterson wrote that the median pay for the position in southeast Wisconsin, according to a salary survey by Carlson Dettman Consulting, was $91,749.

Alderman Thomas Michalski, who sits on the Personnel Committee, added: "We didn't come to this figure willy-nilly. We were looking for higher wages for this job. Are we going to get someone with 25 years of public service and human resources for this job? Probably not, but with this staff on hand, we can get somebody young and maybe in a position to handle all the problems that arise."

Pay freeze

Along with shifting those positions, the council voted to freeze wages for part-and full-time personnel in 2014.

In addition, employees who use their personal vehicle for city work will have to obtain greater insurance coverage.

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