Windsor wage study: Two underpaid

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 14, 2008

WINDSOR—The results of a salary study for the Town of Windsor revealed the town is underpaying two of its 12 employees by about 20 percent in comparison to towns of similar size.

Dale Johnson-Raney, of the consulting firm Springsted, presented a report of the study to the council on Tuesday. According to the study, two of the town’s 12 employees were underpaid, but Johnson-Raney complimented the town on keeping benefits fair.

“Some are a little low,” she said, “but others are competitive.”

The wage study was first proposed by council members last year. Town Manager Kurt Falkenstein said the council turned down the proposal because several members believed the $7,500 cost of conducting the survey was excessive.

The council later reversed its decision and contracted the study by Springsted.

Tuesday’s was the second presentation by Springsted, Falkenstein said, because council members had questions about the first presentation, and one council member was not present during that presentation.

“Council actually thought salaries paid by the town were above the norm,” he said. “This study has made us take a closer look.”

He noted that the Consumer Price Index states that wages for clerical workers are 4.6 percent higher today than in January 2007.

Raney suggested five options to bring salaries in line with other localities. The first and most basic included increasing the wages of the two underpaid employees to minimum, while the others included increasing the wages of all employees to the minimum, or a 5 percent increase in salary, whichever was greater.

The only action taken by council was to bring salaries of the two employees up to minimum, and to study cost-of-living and merit raises, as well as benefits.

Falkenstein said the proposed 2008-09 budget includes a 5 percent increase in all salaries.

Council members also heard a presentation by Isle of Wight Tourism Bureau’s Judy Winslow and IOW Rural Development Manager Rachel Chieppa on the progress of the Windsor Farmers’ Market.

Chieppa said both the Windsor and Smithfield markets will now be operated by the tourism bureau and should be open in July. Marsha Parrish will manage both markets, she said.