Poll: Do you Support 'Incentive' Raises for Managers?
Are merit-based raises for managers, non-union staff in Ridgewood an example of good government? Vote in our poll.
If it passes a vote on Jan. 16, about $50,000 in tax dollars could find its way into the pockets of some of Ridgewood's highest paid employees on a "merit" standard.
The village council last Wednesday introduced an ordinance that will allow compensation of up to 1.9 percent in salary for 2012 and 2013 for non-union and management staff. The compensation – based ultimately on the village manager's recommendation – will increase pension obligations. The village manager himself is not eligible. Salaries in a strict sense are frozen by the pair of ordinances.
It's argued the incentive increases are in line with the rate of inflation and promote a semblance of equality, as unionized colleagues are receiving raises and their raises are not based on merit.
But does it instead illustrate an out-of-touch village leadership that didn't listen to the public outcry when the same plan – albeit at 4 percent, not 1.9 – was hatched last year?
Mayor Paul Aronsohn previously voted against an ordinance that provided up to 4 percent of salary retroactive to 2010 and in 2011. At the time, Aronsohn called on department heads to "show leadership" during hard financial times, saying many residents were not receiving any raises.
On Wednesday night, he said the newly-introduced ordinances were different because they're not retroactive and are smaller in scale.
"It seeks to establish a new standard – one that balances the needs of employees with the economic reality faced by the village," he said of the new ordinances. "Gone are the days of four percent salary increases."
What do you think? Should department heads and other non-union staff receive "merit" raises?