Solon city officials introduced an ordinance Monday authorizing pay raises for 2022 for employees not covered under a collective bargaining agreement and placed the matter on first reading.
City Council’s finance committee forwarded to City Council the legislation that approves an increase not to exceed 2 percent. This covers about 140 full-time employees and about 100 part-time
This raise mirrors the proposed increase in the union contracts, which currently are in negotiations.
This year, both union and non-union employees were given a raise of 2.5 percent. In 2020, they received a 2.25-percent increase.
The expectation is that the same wage increase of 2 percent will be offered in 2023 and 2024, Finance Director Matthew Rubino said.
“The mayor has proposed a 2-percent increase for all three years of the next contract term for union employees,” Mr. Rubino added.
The 2 percent pay increase for non-bargaining employees results in an expenditure of $402,000 from the general fund for 2022. The city has a general fund operating budget of $41.4 million for 2022.
There also are no changes in 2022 to the pay scales, which will remain the same as this year, Mr. Rubino said.
“I’ve advised the mayor and council that it appears the city has gotten through the worst of the economic impact of COVID,” Mr. Rubino said.
The city experienced a $3 million loss in revenue in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“Going into next year, there is more stability as far as the economy is concerned,” Mr. Rubino said. “The mayor felt it is important to do the normal things in running the city, including considering annual wage increases for all full-time staff.”
In 2022, the concern is the impact of remote work on income tax collections, he added.
“That can be a long-term concern to deal with once we know the impact.”
Wage increases are dependent on each employee receiving a complete annual performance evaluation from their respective manager, Mr. Rubino said.
The ordinance also authorizes an appropriation of up to $15,000 for the mayor to make one-time merit-based payments to full-time employees provided that the payments do not exceed $1,500 per employee. Eligibility for one-time merit payments will be determined by a review panel consisting of the mayor, finance director, director of human resources, a member of City Council, and a department head other than that of the employee.
If the pay raise is approved by City Council, the increase would begin Jan. 1.
Councilman Robert N. Pelunis said he had concerns last year due to the revenue loss in 2020 linked to the pandemic. Considering the financial projections for next year, he said, the city could move forward with the raises for 2022.