The Big Question
The Big Question
We recently discussed the attached Power Point presentation in a Town Hall meeting at the Community College. In a nutshell, if the District Council approves the Mayor’s recommendation, we will have an additional $5m of non-recurring funds in FY 17 as compared to FY 16. Based on recent campus wide Town Hall meetings held by Mr. Stovall and the budget committee, we have a good idea of what your priorities are, and are building the FY 16-17 budget accordingly.
At the end of the presentation, we asked those in attendance a big question. Non-union staff has had only one cost of living adjustment (COLA) in the last ten years, and that was three years ago. A COLA is a recurring expense, meaning that once a salary is adjusted, it is a permanent expense in the budget every year thereafter. Giving a COLA in FY 17 would be risky, because there is no guarantee that the one-time FY 17 funding would be repeated in FY 18. If it isn’t, we would have to reduce salaries or implement other cuts in order to balance the FY 18 budget.
Another option is to give $4500 – $5,000 across the board one time bonuses to non-union employees in FY 17, and wait for recurring funding in the budget in FY 18 or beyond before awarding COLAs.
So, assuming you agree that doing something positive for non-union employees is a good idea, here is the question we posed. In FY 17, do we give COLAs to non-union employees and take the risk that sufficient funds will be available in FY 18 to balance the budget without cuts or, do we instead give a one-time $4,500 across the board bonus to every non-union member of the staff and not risk having to make cuts in FY 18?
My sense was that those attending the Town Hall meeting were leaning toward the COLA
Let me know what you think, or come and share your thoughts at the soon to be announced Town Hall meeting on the Van Ness Campus..
Ronald Mason, Jr.
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