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Pay hikes for city employees

Paul Clinton

CIVIC CENTER -- After more than five months of negotiations, hundreds

of city employees received a pay hike this week that will raise their

salaries incrementally over the next three years.

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Since early July, members of the Burbank City Employees Association

have been working without a labor contract, a situation that was ended at

the City Council meeting Tuesday with a 4-0 approval -- with Mayor Stacey

Murphy absent -- of a new three-year deal.

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Associaion President Kathleen Lindblom was pleased with the deal,

which provides for a minimum raises of 2.5%, 2.8% and 3.3% in each

succeeding year. Provisions attached to the first year are retroactive to

July 1.

“Good contract,” Lindblom said Thursday. “We’re thrilled.”

City labor negotiator and Management Services Director John Nicoll did

not return calls for comment.

In addition to ratifying a labor contract with the 700-member

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employees association, the council also approved raises for City Clerk

Judie Sarquiz and City Treasurer Jim Rogers as well as unrepresented

managers and executives -- which include the 13 department heads.

Sarquiz and Rogers each received 5% raises, while the unrepresented

managers were given a 3.46% hike. The executives received a minimum 2.25%

increase. With a satisfactory evaluation, they can make more.

While the other moves were made without much discussion, City Council

members expressed some concern about raising the salaries of Sarquiz and

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Rogers. Both elected positions have received recent pay hikes. With

Tuesday’s increases, both make $77,208 a year in base pay.

“At first blush my thought was that anybody who runs for those

positions knows what it pays,” Councilman David Laurell said Thursday.

“With the clerk and treasurer, it’s a full-time job.”

However, Laurell said, it’s important to give the elected positions

competitive salaries so the city doesn’t risk losing capable employees to

the private sector.

Councilman Dave Golonski said he didn’t have a problem granting raises

to Sarquiz and Rogers.

“I think their salaries should be in line with their scope of

services,” Golonski said. “We want to make sure people are interested in

those positions.”

Sarquiz has had two cost-of-living raises totaling 5% since her 1997

election. In an Oct. 14 memo, Sarquiz had pointed out that her position

paid 11% less than five comparable cities. Sarquiz also said Rogers was

22% below the average.

On Thursday, Sarquiz said she was pleased with the council’s decision.

“I’m glad they feel the positions are important enough to bring these

positions in line,” she said.

The City Council is reviewing the salaries of City Manager Bud Ovrom

and City Atty. Dennis Barlow. Those reviews will be completed in the next

several weeks, officials said.

SALARY BOX:

Burbank City Employees Association

1999-2000: 2.5% raise

2000-2001: 2.8% raise

2001-2002: 3.3% raise

City Clerk and City Treasurer

Previous salary: $73,536

Current salary: $77,208


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