No pay cut for East Chicago city workers in 2013

2012-10-25T20:15:00Z 2012-10-25T23:37:05Z No pay cut for East Chicago city workers in 2013Steve Zabroski Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 25, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | The City Council on Thursday approved keeping wages and salaries for municipal employees in 2013 at the same levels as this year.

The measure adopted in a special session Thursday replaces previous multitiered pay levels with wage and salary ranges for each specific job title. It's similar to a nonbinding salary ordinance approved by the council in March.

The main difference between the ordinance approved Thursday and that adopted in March was the elimination of positions that no longer exist, such as "graphics technician" and "temporary summer college intern," council financial adviser Karl Cender said.

Any employee whose compensation is reduced on paper under the redefined job titles will continue to receive his or her 2012 pay rate, under terms of the new ordinance.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance requires approval of the annual municipal salary ordinances by Nov. 1. If the deadline is not met, payroll rates in the next year automatically stay the same as before.

Payroll rates in East Chicago have been unchanged since 2011 because a previous City Council that year rejected Mayor Anthony Copeland's proposed 2012 salary ordinance over concerns about the job title and classification changes.

Copeland's administration is currently in the midst of a vast reorganization of the city's public works operations, merging the Streets and Solid Waste Departments, combining stormwater and sewer collection operations, and joining Park Department maintenance and field employees into a single unit.

The plan aims to centralize purchasing and inventory operations for increased efficiency, and collapses 28 separate union classifications into eight new positions for flexibility while eliminating several supervisory positions.

Existing management and staff are being interviewed by city human resources officials to determine their placement in the reorganization, a process that is expected to be completed early next year.

Discussions with officials of the various unions representing the city employees are scheduled for November.

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