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Ordinance calls for non-union employee raises in Barrington

Position pay set to increase, some by double-digits

By Josh Bickford
Posted 7/9/20

At its meeting last month, the Barrington Town Council voted 5-0 to introduce an ordinance that would increase the pay scale for non-union municipal employees by as much as 16 percent.

The pay …

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Ordinance calls for non-union employee raises in Barrington

Position pay set to increase, some by double-digits

Posted

At its meeting last month, the Barrington Town Council voted 5-0 to introduce an ordinance that would increase the pay scale for non-union municipal employees by as much as 16 percent.

The pay scale (ordinance 2020-14) lists the maximum amount certain positions can earn, and when compared to the current year's pay scale, the increases range from as little as $300 to as much as $23,300.

Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha said that the actual salaries earned by the employees are about 10 percent less than the maximum amount listed in the ordinance. He said the ordinance adds 10 percent to give flexibility with well qualified new hires "and to not require a new ordinance every year."

"When you see a salary figure for a specific job, you can assume the actual salary is 90 percent of the figure listed in the ordinance," Mr. Cunha wrote in a recent email. "In the categories with numerous employees, the ordinance figure is 10% higher than the highest salaried worker in that category…"

The proposed ordinance lists $143,000 for the business and finance director, which is a 16 percent jump from this year's amount of $119,700.

The town manager has previously discussed a pay raise for the business and finance director position, held by Kathy Raposa. In fact, Mr. Cunha had proposed a raise earlier this year before realizing that he had veered from the typical process which calls for all salary increases to be recommended during the budgetary process.

In early March, Mr. Cunha said he was concerned that Ms. Raposa might be lost to another community's finance department if the town did not pay her more than her current $111,000.

"I'm just trying to forestall losing a valuable employee who's being underpaid," he said at that time.

(According to the 2018 State Municipal Survey, Ms. Raposa is the seventh highest-paid finance director in the state.)

Other proposed increases for non-union employees include a $10,950 raise for the town planner position, which is a 10.7 percent increase from $91,350 to $102,300. The ordinance calls for a 6.5 percent increase for the human resources position, from $60,900 to $65,100; a 6.2 percent increase for the public works superintendent position, from $92,400 to $98,500; and a 5.9 percent increase for the library director position, from $93,450 to $99,300.

"In general, the non-union employees are receiving a 2 percent salary increase. A few employees are receiving a greater amount," Mr. Cunha wrote.

When asked if he had considered the downturned economy when recommending the salary increases, Mr. Cunha wrote: "Of course I considered the current economic downturn and articulated my reasoning to the town council and the COA (Committee on Appropriations) who have both authorized the increases. The Town of Barrington is blessed to have an exceptionally dedicated and talented workforce. My goal is minimize the impact on the taxpayer while adequately compensating employees based on the market." 

Mr. Cunha said the increases are based on market demands and accretion of duties as he consolidates municipal departments that he believes will result in savings.

On the rise

Following is a comparison of the current salaries and compensations (ordinance 2019-16) with the proposed amounts (ordinance 2020-14):

Title — Current max — Proposed max — Percent change

Custodian library — $56,700 — $56,700 — 0%

Library tech. coord. — $56,700 — $58,900 — 4% (+$2,200)

Library assistant — $58,800 — $59,100 — .5% (+$300)

Clerk/secretary — $58,800 — $62,400 — 5.8% (+$3,600)

Human resources — $60,900 — $65,100 — 6.5% (+4,200)

Asst. finance dir. — $67,200 — $67,200 — 0%

Rec., Sr. serv. dir. — $71,400 — $74,700 — 4.4% (+$3,300)

Librarian — $80,850 — $81,700 — 1% (+$850)

Building official — $88,200 — $88,200 — 0%

Town clerk — $86,100 — $91,000 — 5.4% (+$4,900)

Tax assessor — $88,200 — $93,000 — 5.2% (+$4,800)

DPW super. — $92,400 — $98,500 — 6.2% (+$6,100)

Library director — $93,450 — $99,300 — 5.9% (+$5,850)

Town planner — $91,350 — $102,300 — 10.7% (+$10,950)

Fire chief — $107,000 — $113,700 — 5.9% (+$6,700)

Police chief — $108,150 — $114,900 — 5.9% (+$6,750)

DPW director — $115,500 — $123,200 — 6% (+$7,750)

Bus., finance dir. — $119,700 — $143,000 — 16% (+$23,300)

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