MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Seasonal maintenance and labor workers for the Michigan City Parks Department may be looking at a substantial raise very soon after council members discussed the possiblity of ammedning the 2018 Salary Ordinance.
City Council President Don Przybylinski addressed the council Tuesday night expressing the importance of the proposed ammendment which increase hourly wages by over two dollars per hour.
According to Przybylinski, workers are currently being paid between $7.40 and $7.76 an hour which has resulted in many seasonal workers leaving to join other departments that pay more.
“What’s happening in the parks department, maintenance department is that generally they have eight seasonal workers that are in the parks department on an annual basis, this year they have two,” Przybylinski said. “Another thing that is happening is employees from the Parks Department are transferring to other departments where they make more money.”
The proposed ammendment will raise the workers hourly salary to $10.15 with potential raises as they return in good standing each year.
Jeremy Kienitz, Superintendent for the Parks Department stated that since the department only had two seasonal employees this year rather than their normal eight that their budget allowed, there will be enough funds in the budget to hire new workers at the new proposed salary for the remainder of the 2018 term. However, the department would have to request additional funding in order to maintain those employees at the same pay scheudle in 2019.
“I know these people work hard…they’re cutting grass, they’re picking up garbage, they’re cleaning restrooms, and they’re doing it in 100 degree heat all summer long. These people deserve a raise,” said Przybylinski.
If approved, the pay raise is expected to go into effect sometime in August.
Other council members also showed their support of the amendment during the meeting, Councilman At-Large Johnny Stimley commented on the proposal stating, “This is something that is much needed. I know it would go into effect in August, but I would actually like to move it up.” Stimley proposed having the proposal’s second and third reading that night during the July 3 council meeting which would effectively bring the amendment to a vote by the council. Council President Przybylinski , however, declined stating that moving up second and third readings are normally only done in dire needs.
At this time, the proposal must be read at the next two council meetings before it can be put to a vote by the council members. A final reading and possible vote could be expected at the August 7 council meeting.