Another response received….

More than a week ago, a free offer of assistance was extended to the Board of Alderman for up to five hours per week to help troubleshoot issues. Two responses regarding this offer and outstanding questions have been received thus far. I very much appreciate Alderman Cicero B Booker Jr. and Alderman Anne Phelan for responding to my email requests, but I must admit that I continue to have questions.

For example, one question I had was related to pay increases; what was the percentage of employees that received pay increases that are performing below expectations vs. those employees that have performed at or above expectations.

I was shocked to be told that our collective bargaining agreements did not consider performance whatsoever as a decision factor related to pay increase. In short, this means an employees performance can be sub par yet still receive the same increase as City employees that are performing at or above expectations.

Upon learning this information, I was compelled to review these documents for myself. Although there are several different contracts, I reviewed two different agreements wage related information. The two agreements reviewed were:
• Waterbury City Employees Local 353 (Blue Collar)
• Waterbury City Employees Association ( WCEA / White Collar)

Both, guaranteed an employees increase year over year, regardless of performance. Both contracts were quite different in structure, but from what I can understand these increases ranged from 1.5 to 3.5%. For a full view of these, as well as the other contracts, please go to http://waterburyct.org/content/458/591/603/default.aspx

This type of guaranteed increase concerns me, especially in an environment when most private employers have stopped increases due to the strained financial environment we are all struggling with today.

Let me be VERY clear…
My main concern is focused on providing increases to any employee if/when they are not performing within or above acceptable expectations as outlined in their job descriptions.

Admittedly, I also struggle with why any increases are guaranteed in this type of economic environment. My understanding is that a greater part of the Waterbury citizens have either experienced “pay freezes” via their private employers or have faced unemployment. Is it logical to obligate these same citizens to contribute towards pay increases?

With that, I strongly encourage anyone who has similar concerns to post their comments to this blog. If you do not feel comfortable posting, please feel free to email your concerns to anneporter2010@hotmail.com. At your request, your comments will be posted confidentially.

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