By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — It looks like two of the three selectmen will support some kind of change to the town's non-union pay scale to accommodate those employees who have reached their maximum earning power under the current one.
Selectmen Chan Eddy and Richard "Rags" Grenier said Wednesday that after giving the options of either changing the wage scale or giving longevity bonuses, they are now leaning toward a new pay scale.
"If the board approves it today," said Town Administrator Scott Dunn, "It will cost $6,296 (for the year.)"
Dunn said the non-union pay scale was developed in 2009 and is not indexed to anything like the cost of living. The proposed scale is also not indexed and will still have 13 "steps," but is recalculated to last for 20 years if an employee earns an average of a 2.5 percent merit increase each year.
Eddy and Grenier briefly discussed the possibility that if the town goes with a new scale, as opposed to nothing or longevity pay, then it should be pegged to inflation using a standard measure like the national consumer price index.
The reality today is that four non-union employees have reached the top of their earning potential and next year seven more will reach it as well said Dunn.
"By Dec. 31, 2017, we'll have 17 (employees who can no longer get raises), said Dunn, who noted last week there is some effect on moral when employees realize they'll never get another raise.
He said it would be two to four years before the same employees reached the top of the proposed scale and after that, the town could implement some kind of longevity plan.
Selectman Gus Benavides was unable to be at Wednesday's meeting, but has previously said that he likely would not support any changes to the pay plan. Because of Benavides' unintended absence, Eddy and Grenier decided to wait until he returns for the next meeting before making any decisions or furthering the discussion.
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