Portage Council approves pay raises

2013-02-06T00:00:00Z Portage Council approves pay raisesJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Portage City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved pay increases for non-union employees affected by upcoming changes in their health insurance.

Thirty-seven employees will receive 3 percent pay increases. The increases are to compensate for changes in their health insurance plan.

Beginning Feb. 11, those employees will have to choose from three new plans, including two traditional plans and a high-deductible health insurance plan.

The number was down from 43 first announced. Prior to approving the increases, the City Council approved an amendment to remove six park department maintenance personnel who are in the process of securing the Operating Engineers Local 150 as their union representation.

The pay increase was the latest of the steps in changing health care coverage as the city works to get a handle on escalating health care costs.

Those employees include non-elected City Hall workers, non-maintenance parks department employees, police clerks, street administration and clerks, fire department clerks and full-time animal control workers.

Also approved was an ordinance allowing that group of employees to sell back up to three of their personal days. They can opt to get the funds in cash or, for those choosing the high-deductible plan with a health savings account, having it deposited in the HSA.

The City Council also approved rules regarding the sell back of up to one week of vacation for the employee group. Those who opt to sell back vacation will have to choose the high-deductible plan with the funds deposited in their HSA.

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