Employee Bonuses Tabled Until After Fire Contract Meeting
Caledonia village employees could see a one-time payment in lieu of a raise.
Correction: The date of the next Village Board meeting was incorrect in the original version of this story. The meeting is on Tuesday, Dec. 18. This has been corrected below.
Whether or not non-represented village employees get a one-time bonus at the end of the year remains up in the air.
Members of the Caledonia Finance Committee met Tuesday and voted unanimously that they will wait to learn if the village has an agreement with the fire union after a scheduled meeting Wednesday between the parties.
Village Administrator Mark Janiuk provided some background for the discussion, saying the payment was being considered to help offset the increased concessions municipal workers will pay into their health insurance and retirement. Only employees who are not backed by a union would be eligible.
"There was talk of raises during the budget process but the discussion turned to a kind of bonus instead," he explained. "This one-time payout will soften the adjustments we asked non-represented employees to make."
Finance Director Larry Borchert estimates that after expenses and expected revenues are calculated, the village could have a $125,000 surplus so Janiuk suggested a $500 payment to employees, which would cost the village $26,000.
Trustee and committee member Kevin Wanggaard said it was premature to talk about any type of bonus until after the scheduled meeting Wednesday with the fire department union. Village officials expect to find out there whether or not the union will accept the village's offer.
"Until we hear the outcome of that meeting, I don't think we should vote to fund a payout," he said.
Trustee Lee Wishau agreed, but also said he supports some kind of bonus.
"I am for some type of bonus or payment in lieu of a raise, but I agree we should lay this over until after the meeting with fire tomorrow," he stated.
The committee will hold a special meeting at 5:30 Tuesday, before the regularly scheduled board meeting. If committee members approve the payment, the issue will already be on the board agenda to take it up immediately. The Dec. 18 meeting is the last board meeting of 2012 and any decision about the payment must be made by then.