Park Ridge mayor likely to veto nonunion pay raises
Mayor David Schmidt
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:19AM
PARK RIDGE — Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt is planning to veto a second attempt by aldermen to grant pay raises to nonunion city employees.
On Aug. 20 the City Council on a vote of 5-2 approved 1- and 2-percent pay raises to nonunion, non-library employees based on their performance rating. The cost to the city is $48,101 and involves 43 city employees.
Fifth Ward Alderman Dan Knight and 6th Ward Alderman Marc Mazzuca voted against the pay raises.
“I’m going to vote ‘no’ on any sort of salary increases until such a time as we have a comprehensive look at our salary structure, our comparables and all that sort of stuff,” Knight said.
Schmidt, who vetoed 2-percent raises for nonunion employees in April, said he plans to exercise his veto power once more on Sept. 4.
“It’s fairly simple. We don’t have the money,” Schmidt told the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate.
The mayor’s April veto of the raises was upheld by the City Council, resulting in nonunion workers not receiving raises when the new fiscal year began May 1. City staff then asked the council to reconsider the rejection of raises, which resulted in the Aug. 20 vote.
If Schmidt does exercise his veto power on Sept. 4 the City Council could potentially overrule the veto if the five aldermen who supported the raises on Aug. 20 do not change their position.
The City Council also approved on a vote of 5-2, with Knight and Mazzuca dissenting, a contract between the city and the city and the Illinois Council of Police and Sheriffs (ICOPS). This labor union represents community-service officers and parking-enforcement officers within the Police Department, city administrative assistants, inspectors, health officers and engineering technicians, said Cathy Doczekalski, human resources manager.
The three-year contract, retroactive to May 1, includes step increases of 2 percent and a 1 percent for employees at the top step during the first year. Employees at the top step will receive a 1.5-percent pay increase on May 1, 2013.
Schmidt said he has not decided whether he will veto the ICOPS contract as well and is “still thinking about how the best approach should be.”
“I know we’re going to have to reduce expenditures and that may have to include reducing personnel costs,” Schmidt said. “Whether we can reduce personnel costs without laying off personnel is something we’re going to need to explore.”