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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Alderman complains some Nashua employees getting much larger pay increases compared with others

NASHUA – As the Board of Aldermen continues to review the proposed city budget for next year, one board member says he’s weary of some employees receiving large pay increases compared with others.

When looking over the last three fiscal years, Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess says he’s seeing 9, 10 and 11 percent wage increases for certain individuals. ...

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NASHUA – As the Board of Aldermen continues to review the proposed city budget for next year, one board member says he’s weary of some employees receiving large pay increases compared with others.

When looking over the last three fiscal years, Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess says he’s seeing 9, 10 and 11 percent wage increases for certain individuals.

Donchess said aldermen recently met with the library department and learned the seven librarians have received about a 1 percent increase in the last three years.

When looking at other city officials’ salaries, especially those in City Hall, he said that isn’t fair.

“I’m not saying anyone’s not doing a good job,” he said.

“It’s that people in City Hall are getting raises far in excess of employees elsewhere in the city as I am reviewing the budget, and I’ve asked John Griffin, the CFO, for a complete report.”

The Telegraph reviewed a few proposed raises in the fiscal 2014 city budget compared with past city budgets, which showed some employees, such as the economic development director and the superintendent of parks and recreation, were getting steady raises of 3 percent or more during the last few years, while others, such as library workers, are scheduled to receive a 1.1 percent pay increase.

In the mayor’s office, the executive secretary is scheduled to receive a 5.9 percent increase over the last two years to a proposed $47,000, while the mayor is due to receive a 4 percent increase over the last two years, from $105,757 in 2012 to $110,029 this coming year.

Donchess noted teachers have received a 1.4 percent increase on average over the last two years.

“It raises two questions,” he said. “Can the city afford 9 percent raises for employees over three years? And number two, to me, it seems unfair and inconsistent to be asking some employees –
library employees, teachers – to accept basically a .5 percent increase a year. … The disparity, to me, seems like a double standard, which I have to question.”

Donchess said he would consider voting against a budget that would propose such drastic raises for some.

Samantha Allen can be reached at 594-6426 or sallen@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Allen on Twitter (@Telegraph_SamA).