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 Post subject: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:23 am 
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ST. JOHN | The salary ordinance governing 2009 pay for St. John employees is in place, but an informal poll shows the majority of employees favor a different option.

In a move to save the town about $42,000, the Town Council adopted an ordinance that cuts longevity pay for its employees. Longevity pay is a yearly stipend for full-time St. John employees. The money is paid at the end of the year, in addition to employee salaries, and it is based on how long an employee has worked for the town.

St. John police Cpl. Jim Turturillo surveyed 60 employees individually and learned that 43 of them would rather take a 1 percent across-the-board pay cut, which Turturillo says would save the town more money than just cutting longevity pay.

"This is a better option for everybody involved," he said.

Turturillo, who is also a certified public accountant, said he met with employees individually from town departments and explained how each option would affect them. Depending on the salary and how long an employee has been working with the town, the 1 percent figure could be less or more than the longevity pay.

The small increment of longevity pay adds up over the years and is included in pension figures, Turturillo said.

He presented his findings to the council at its last meeting of the year, but the council took no action based on Turturillo's poll.

Council President Michael Fryzel said the council has no plans to amend the salary ordinance and make a 1 percent across-the-board pay cut in lieu of cutting longevity pay.

"They have to let their conscience be their guide," Turturillo said.

The 1 percent cut was an option that town leaders discussed but was taken off the table in favor of cutting longevity pay.

The salary ordinance is treated like any other ordinance and can be amended at any time, Town Manager Steve Kil said.

Aside from cutting longevity pay, St. John has a salary freeze in effect for 2009.

http://www.nwitimes.com/articles/2008/1 ... 0fdf36.txt


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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:55 pm 
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well, it looks like the St John employees have just saved Fyrzel's azz. I wonder if this little favor of saving the board money will be remembered? I wonder if the St John employees will ever be able to re-coup this income? I wonder if the poll will take place b/4 the budget proposal next year and they'll just figure that the employees will just go along with it again but the town will still be over budget, what then?


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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:39 am 
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I think these two comments after the article sums it up best. This is just the beginning. Wait until even more fee's are passed on to keep balancing the budget. Any employee's who live in town will be getting hit from both directions. You mean to tell me they didn't know long before hand that this was going to happen. They just kept spending and spending and gave some pretty nice raises to Kil and Pharysan prior to this. They must have known or they wouldn't of cancelled that fancy splash park at Prarie West Park. Still managed to spend 55 grand on a bathroom, have a money losing town fest, take home cars ect. Conscience? LOL :lol: :smt006 Sure, lets put in a splash park in plain view of every Tom, Dick and Harry in one of our finer family parks. Just for all the other towns to enjoy to, not to mention weirdo's . :cry: :roll: :smt006

Wondering wrote on Dec 29, 2008 6:25 PM:
" I am a municipal employee, a firefighter. Just because I work as a public servant, why am I now a 2nd class citizen? I wasn't elected to this job, I tested for it and earned it. My family has to eat too, and guess what..I PAY TAXES TOO! Why do I need to take a pay cut? Believe it or not, I work hard for my money. I don't get a take home car, free gas, free food at the firehouse or any other perk. Why don't we poll mill workers, or any other workers and see if they would like to give up pay. "


Concerned wrote on Dec 29, 2008 3:27 PM:
" Well, I do not feel sorry for this Town. They voted the Citizen's Party in office and now the see how things get mis-managed. Before the Citizen's Party took office the Town put away monies for a rainy day and the Citizen party spent it all in three years. Maybe next election you might want to consider anyone that is not associated with the Citizen's Party. "

OH, AND TO MR. WONDERING...YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK AND SERVICE...YOUR A FIRST CLASS CITIZEN IN COMEDIANS BOOK. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:18 pm 
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See the problem with all these towns is the need to go back and look at what a local government is suppose to provide to the community, not what they want to provide or think they should provide, but what they are required to provide with our tax dollars.

Here's a list of the main ones:
Police
Fire stations
Garbage disposal
Sewers
Road and sidewalk maintenance

To me anything else is a want, not a need. These local yahoo's need to go back to the basics and see what doesn't fall under these categories and access if it is necessary, before they start cutting anything. I'm sure haunted house , festivals, christmas in the park etc fall under wants instead of need and I'm sure if I knew what they spent all our tax dollars on I could find quiet a few others that are wants not needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:41 pm 
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Does a Parks Board Director qualify? What's that guy make? Let's guesstimate. Probably about as much money as they took away from employee's with that longevity. I'd say that's a good guestimate. :roll: :smt006 Does anyone know if all these people on the Building and Planning Comission get paid ? As always the web site is messed up. How many people are on this comission? :smt006

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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Hmmm...I just found an article about this longevity pay . Is it needless or necessary? I can certainly understand how it could effect some of the long time officer's and employee's. That longevity can really add up. :smt006

http://www1.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news ... 70610.html

Staying power translates into extra dollars for public employees across the state, including Lower Bucks, and that isn't sitting too well with some officials.

Longevity pay, which is based on an employee's years of service and is given in addition to annual raises, is an excessive perk, said Middletown Supervisor Robert McMonagle.

"There is no link to performance or merit; I want to abolish it," he said. "Local government has to reflect the community it serves, and I don't know anybody who gets longevity pay in a regular, private job."

Lower Southampton Supervisor Mark Hopkins had similar thoughts.

"I'm in favor of merit pay as opposed to longevity pay," he said. "If someone is in a job a long time and is not improving and not getting any more efficient, I don't think that person should be getting paid more simply on the basis of being on the job a long time."

With a few exceptions, Middletown gives longevity pay to all its employees, including non-union workers, after five years of service. The exceptions are administrators hired after 1995 and non-union employees hired after 2006.

In an effort to cut down on longevity pay costs, the township also has frozen the benefit for all other non-union employees at 2006 levels.

It's rare in other area municipalities for non-union employees to get longevity pay, but it's a longstanding part of many contracts for union workers, particularly police.

Longevity pay compensates for other drawbacks to public employment, including a relative lack of promotion opportunities when compared to the private sector, especially large corporations, said Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police attorney Sean Welby. He's helped negotiate contracts for police in municipalities across Pennsylvania.

"Take the police department in Harrisburg, where you have about 160 officers," he said. "There are about 15 sergeants, and those people tend to remain in those positions for decades, which doesn't leave a lot of potential for promotion. In a lot of cases, there's maybe one promotional opportunity for every 50 employees."

Also, most police contracts are structured so that cops of the same rank are paid the same base salary regardless of their years of experience, Welby said. Longevity pay is a way to reward experience and compensate for this, he said.

For example, Falls will pay every police sergeant a base salary of $78,339 next year, every corporal $76,135 and every detective $73,932. However, the police contract also has longevity pay of 1 percent of base salary for all cops after five years of service, 2 percent after 10 years, 3 percent after 15 years, 4 percent after 20 years and 5 percent after 25 years.

So, a sergeant with five years of experience will get a $783 longevity payment on top of a $78,339 base salary next year, for a total pay of $79,122. On the upper end, a Falls sergeant with 25 years of experience will get a $3,916 longevity payment next year, on top of the $78,339 base salary for a total pay of $82,255.

Longevity pay for Falls employees in the office workers union is given in lump sum payments rather than as a percentage of base pay. For example, a Falls clerk with between five and nine years of experience will get a longevity payment of $500 next year. It's $800 for a clerk with between 10 and 14 years of experience, $1,200 for 15 to 19 years, $1,500 for 20 to 24 years and $2,000 for any clerk with 25 or more years of experience.

To give an idea of total pay for those Falls employees, a clerk with between five and nine years of experience will earn $17.95 an hour next year. Based on a 35-hour work week, that's $628.25 a week and $32,669 a year. The $500 longevity payment would increase that employee's annual pay to $33,169.


A Falls clerk with 20 or more years of experience will earn $19.45 an hour next year, or $680.75 a week and $35,399 a year. The longevity payment of at least $1,500 brings the total to $36,899.

Unlike McMonagle, Falls Supervisor Bob Harvie said he has no problem with longevity pay.

"I don't think it's ever been an issue with us," he said. "I see it as kind of a respect thing, a thank you for putting in so much time with the township. Also, you're paying them not only for the time they put in but their experience. That experience filters down to the younger employees and is a benefit to them as well."

Middletown Police Chief Frank McKenna represents pretty much the top of the line in longevity pay. He's been a township cop for 50 years and has received longevity pay in steadily increasing increments for most of that time.

This year, McKenna got a 3.5 percent raise to bring his base annual salary to $99,031. On top of that, he got a 7.5 percent longevity payment, or $7,427, for a total pay of $106,458.

Next year, McKenna's base salary will go to $103,487 after a 4.5 percent raise. He'll also get a $7,627 longevity payment for a total pay in 2008 of $111,114. The Courier Times was unsuccessful in attempts to reach McKenna for comment.

Pete Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union in Alexandria, Va., takes a view on longevity pay that opposes the police union attorney Welby. While Welby sees longevity pay as compensation for things public employees don't get, Sepp sees it as one more thing they do get that private sector employees don't.

"There might be similar private sector incentives to longevity pay, but they're much rarer and much less generous," Sepp said. "Longevity pay is a lot more expensive than a gold watch or reserved parking space. Longevity pay might be the kind of thing that incentivizes an employee to hang around whether or not he or she likes the job, and that's not something an employer would probably want. There ought to be more merit considerations in government jobs and pay, and simply being some place for a long time doesn't have much of a connection to that."

Longevity pay added to things like regular annual raises and no contributions to health insurance for most public employees is too much, said Lower Southampton resident William Vogt, who spoke against longevity pay at a recent supervisors meeting.

"People should have to earn their money, and this [longevity pay] should be abolished," he said.

I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT POLICE OFFICER'S EARN THEIR MONEY. BUT HEY, THAT'S JUST ME. :smt006

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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:25 am 
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Does anyone know if the garbage fee was passed?


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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:03 am 
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Gunslinger wrote:
Does anyone know if the garbage fee was passed?


Not to be a wise guy but it's in the post below this one. I take it you were on your break and didn't get to squeeze in all the reading in time. LOL :smt006

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 Post subject: Re: Poll shows St. John employees prefer salary cut
PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:29 am 
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Thanks comedian, and yes, too little time, too much info. :smt006


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