Village Manager Ken Gabbert says Ridgewood could be on the cutting edge of the transition from the public sector more closely resembling the private sector in how it compensates its management and non-union workers.
Gabbert has proposed a salary ordinance that will provide salary 'incentive' increases of up to 4 percent drawn from a $85,359 pool (basically 2 percent of '09 and 2 percent of the projected '10 total payouts to non-union and management staff).
Though there will be no base salary increase for 2010 and 2011, non-union and management can receive a 4-percent incentive raise, which would be paid out effective Jan. 1 of 2010 and Jan. 1 of 2011 (so a 4 percent payment would be split 2-percent each year).
The retroactive incentive is scheduled for payout by the end of March should the ordinance be approved by the village council. The $85,000 pool is drawb from the current general operating fund, Gabbert said.
Gabbert reported that he's already received calls and e-mails from officials in other towns who are curious if Ridgewood is actually going through with the concept–the first known that Gabbert is aware of. "We will be the leaders," he said.
But Councilman Paul Aronsohn objected to the policy, which he said creates inequality between non-union workers and union workers. "I don't think that management should be getting incentive raises and bonuses for last year," the councilman said at a council meeting in late January.
Deputy Mayor Riche, however, supported the move, which he said "mirrored" what the private sector has done for years.
The village will be using its manual appraisal form in evaluating those eligible for raises, should the council see this through. A self-evaluation form is filled out in late January and the supervisor/director eventually submits the appraisal to Gabbert. Gabbert can either accept the appraisal, modify the appraisal or return it to the supervisor/director.
Gabbert said that the council would be responsible for the approval of any potential incentive raise he would receive from 2010-2011.
"Council members were seeking a greater link between compensation increase and work performed," Gabbert said when asked how this idea was developed. "The incentive compensation plan seems to be in the right direction."
The village is currently 30 workers short of last year's total, after revenues have fallen, mandated costs have risen and state aid has shrunk. Workers the layoffs last year, and Aronsohn last April encouraged senior staff members .
The council will see the formal introduction of the ordinance at Wednesday's 8:00 p.m. public meeting.