BOC approves pay hikes for non-union employees, department heads

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Christmas might have come early for non-union employees and department heads employed by Kalkaska County.

At a special meeting Sept. 24, the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners approved a two-percent pay increase for those who qualified and were within oversight of the county board.

However, the proposal wasn’t a popular idea in everyone’s eyes, with District No. 2 Commissioner Stuart McKinnon casting the lone dissenting vote, as the proposal passed, 4-1. Commissioners Dave Comai and Craig Crambell were absent from the meeting.

District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, chairman of the board’s Negotiating Committee, said the pay raise, effective as of Sept. 20, mimics the increase the county’s union employees received.

“This matched what the union was given,” said Fisher. “We’re just trying to not let the wages get more disproportionate.”

But, even with the increase, he added that wages for Kalkaska County employees often lags behind that paid for comparable positions at neighboring and similar counties.

Now, Fisher said the task for commissioners is to incorporate the increases into its budget plan for the upcoming 2019 Fiscal Year. By state law, the board must adopt a balanced budget plan by Dec. 31.

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