Alderperson Berman Questions Raises In 2023 City Budget

A Special City of Peshtigo Common Council meeting was held on Thursday, Nov. 17 with the only agenda item being to adopt the 2023 Proposed Budget and approve the Levy.
After members of the Finance and Claims Committee made a motion to accept and approve the proposed 2023 budget, Alderperson Katie Berman voiced her concern about a rate increase that was not reflected in the budget for office staff. Berman said, "I was really hoping if we made a motion as a Council that we would follow through with that instead of just ignoring it. I am disappointed in the Finance Committee”. Mayor Cathi Malke then asked Berman, "Could you be more specific on your disappointment"?
Berman stated, "It was a 1% this year and then a 1, 1 and 1 next year and I don't see that in here". Treasurer Tammy Kasal replied, "No, The motion was different than that, all the other employees got a 3% raise over the year but it only cost the city 2% for the year but by the end of the year they were up to 3% and two of the positions in my office weren't included in that, they just got 2%, so the motion was to increase those to another 1% so they would start at a 3% plus a raise, but that was because they were old employees and they didn't get what everyone else had gotten in the past, so that was to keep them fair. But since those employees are not here anymore, we negotiated new wages with one of the new employees and the other one is not even on our payroll yet, she is through Manpower so we cant even adjust anything for that person. When that position gets filled permanently, we will negotiate at that time”.
Berman then commented, "We gave it to the positions not the names, we listed job titles and the job titles were restructured but the job title remained, we gave it to the job not to the individual. We went through all the work at the beginning of this year and now not to even discuss that. Why would we go through all that work as a council and then just disregard that motion a few months later”?
Mayor Malke then stated, I can understand, not the one person getting the raise, but both people were Manpower employees to start with and I just want to say I appreciate all the work that Finance has done, because I know they put a lot of time into this".  
Kasal added, "The person that was doing our Accounting before was only making $18.00 per hour and the new person is making $19.00 with a $.50 cent raise, so now making $19.50, so it will be way more than 1%. We negotiated her wages when we hired her”.
Berman and Kasal continued to dispute the rate increase in regards to the 1% , 1% 1% and Kasal stated, "It was not the 1, 1 and 1, we were going to increase the other positions that didn't get the 1, 1, 1, instead they got 2% at the beginning of the year, so at the end of the year they are behind and the ones that didn't get the 1, 1, 1 would get the 2% starting in the the next year plus whatever was negotiated, which ended up to be 2%”.
Kasal added, “With the 1, 1 and 1 it would be $18.54 and the new position that was negotiated is at $19.00 plus she is getting a $.50 cent raise and will be at $19.50, so do you suggest go from $19.50 down to $18.54”? Those positions don't even exist anymore, we have changed the positions. We negotiated because it was a new position and is now a full time versus part time. It wasn't forgotten about it was just not pertinent anymore with changing of positions and going from part-time to full time.


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