Ashland asks staff to skip raises

Ashland officials are asking all employees to forgo cost-of-living raises for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Employees who aren’t represented by unions, such as department heads and secretaries, have already agreed not to take the adjustments, according to Ashland Finance Director Lee Tuneberg.

If the city had given those workers a the cost-of-living raise of 3.5 percent, it would have cost the city $226,000, he said.

City officials are in the midst of negotiating contracts with three unions that represent firefighters, police officers and clerical/technical workers.

If those union members received raises of 3.5 percent, it would cost the city $214,500, Tuneberg said.

City officials have not included money to give those workers the cost-of-living raise in the proposed city budget for the coming fiscal year, he said.

City officials are not asking employees to give up another type of raise, “step increases.”

Each step increase usually brings a 3 to 5 percent raise, city sources said.

A city budget hearing is set Tuesday.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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