Seven members of the Bristol County Water Authority’s eight-member management team recently received pay raises ranging from 2 to 13.7 percent.
The raises, which will cost the BCWA a total of $35,000 this coming fiscal year, were approved by the board of directors in April. The hikes are unrelated to pay adjustments given to the authority’s 18 unionized employees, all members of the Utility Workers Local 359. Unionized workers didn’t receive pay raises last year and won’t get one this year, but will receive 2.25 percent raises during the 2014-15 fiscal year.
Executive director Pamela Marchand, the only member of management to not receive a pay hike, said the management pay raises bring the employees’ salaries more in line with national averages, and also help better reflect growing job responsibilities as the authority streamlines and tightens up its finances. In addition, she said, the workers hadn’t received raises in four years. Ms. Marchand earns $125,000, the same amount at which she was hired 15 months ago.
“We have a very tight budget,” she said. “We’re trying to be very conscientious about how we’re spending money, trying to keep things reasonable.”
Ms. Marchand started looking at management salaries last fall at the direction of the board of directors. She was asked to look at comparable positions at other water systems, and ended up using a national survey on salaries prepared by the American Waterworks Association. The survey included information about salaries at small to medium-sized waterworks like the BCWA, and she used those figures to come up with acceptable pay ranges.
Some, like the BCWA operations manager, received modest raises as low as 2 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, the customer manager received a 13.7 percent hike, bringing his salary from $63,202 to $73,000. The salary range called for in the survey recommended a salary between $65,000 and $85,000.
Not all employees saw their salaries adjusted to the middle of the survey’s range. With $35,000 in salary hike funds to spread out between eight employees, Ms. Marchand said, that wasn’t possible.
“So some people, although they deserved it did not get much of an increase,” she said. “Others who were extremely low, we tried to give them more.”