2023 budget notebook: Monroe County council recommends 5% pay raise for planning purposes

Monroe County employees could be looking at a 5-percent increase to their pay in 2023, while inflation is running a few points higher than that.

At their Tuesday night meeting, Monroe County councilors voted unanimously to recommend for current budget planning purposes that a 5-percent cost-of-living adjustment be made to county employee compensation.

That’s the amount that will be used by staff as they draft the 2023 county budget.

Tuesday’s vote to recommend a 5-percent increase came after county board of commissioners president Julie Thomas reported to the council that the commissioners support an increase that’s nearly double that amount—9.5 percent.

The figure supported by commissioners is based on comparing the June 2021 to June 2022 consumer price index (CPI), as calculated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for the midwest region.

It’s the county council’s typical approach to look at the December-to-December numbers for the previous year. Comparing December 2021 to December 2020, the current CPI shows a 7.5-percent increase. Continue reading “2023 budget notebook: Monroe County council recommends 5% pay raise for planning purposes”

Bloomington’s municipal workers turn out for city council meeting, labor negotiations continue

A couple dozen members of the AFSCME Local 2487 attended Bloomington’s Wednesday city council meeting, to highlight for councilmembers their ongoing collective bargaining negotiations with mayor John Hamilton’s administration—without getting into details of those talks.

As Local 2487 president Bradley Rushton put it, “I cannot discuss any aspect of the current state of affairs between the union and the city reps.”

But union members are looking for better compensation than their current four-year contract gives them.  The current labor agreement runs through the end of 2022.

The acronym for the union name stands for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union includes workers in utilities, the street and fleet divisions of public works, parks and recreation, sanitation, and the animal shelter, among others. Rushton serves the city as a fleet maintenance master technician.

Rushton led off his remarks during public commentary with a word of thanks to the city council for supporting the police union in their efforts to negotiate better compensation. In September last year, the city council  passed a resolution supporting more money for police officers.

The police union is on the same four-year contractual cycle as the AFSCME workers. Earlier this year, in mid-May, the city council approved a contract with police officers that started with a 13-percent increase in the first year.

The city’s administration had made the police contract contingent on the council’s approval of an increase to the local income tax, which the council gave in early May.

Rushton told the city council that fair compensation has to address the rate of inflation. Continue reading “Bloomington’s municipal workers turn out for city council meeting, labor negotiations continue”