Saturday, April 4, 2009

A rose is a rose is a wage increase

Gertrude Stein would roll over if she heard that a wage freeze is not really a wage freeze. Yes, Gertrude is the one who wrote the oft quoted lines:
"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose"
There are at least four key terms that we should all be aware of and agree on how they are to be used; freeze, increase, step, lane.

Freeze as I want to use it is defined as "a halt of a regular operation"

Step is the increase associated with moving from one salary step to another, usually associated with years of service.

Lane is the increase associated with moving from one classification on a step to another.

Increase is an amount more in one period than in the comparable period.

For example, the salary table may look like this for one year.

Step Bachelor B +15 B+36/M
1 38,010 39,501 41,759
2 39,935 41,813 44,071
3 42,688 44,130 46,387

Someone would get hired with a bachelors degree and start on Step 1 for their first year.

In year 2, they would move to Step 2. (Step as defined above results in an increase from 38,010 to 39,935.)

If they completed 15 credits towards their next degree, in Year 3 they could make a Lane change and move to the B+15 column. So instead of earning 42,688 with a Step change, they would earn 44,130 with a Lane change.

The entire salary table would change from one year to the next based upon contract negotiation. If the union was successful in negotiating a 2.5% increase, then each number in the table would be increased by 2.5% for the next year. The second year table would look like this:

Step Bachelor B +15 B+36/M
1 38,960 40,489 42,803
2 40,933 42,858 45,173
3 43,755 45,233 47,547

Calculate the difference between Bachelor Step 1 in the first table (38,010) and the second table (38,960) the difference is 950 or 2.499% which rounds to 2.5%.

Why do this?
Well according to the information I have received, the wage freezes announced by the town only include the increase from year to year, they do not include the step or lane changes.

So if this is true, don't be too surprised when the budget comes out and the total salary lines are actually higher than last year.

Where did the wage freeze go?

No wonder Shakespeare said "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

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