CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council is increasing library staff pay by $3.50 per hour.
The council voted 4-0 to approve the pay increase. The council last month approved raising wages by $2.50 for part-time employees working at the meal site and at the cemetery. The $3.50 increase for library staff is a $9,000 increase, Kida said.
City Administrator Andrew Kida noted a question came up at a past meeting when discussing wages about whether other cities offer paid days off to part-time library staff. For the most part, cities with similar size and population do offer paid time off for part-time library staff, Kida said.
Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis’ question all along has been which cities give part-time employees paid days off, Willis said.
“I’m not doubting that our folks are the best and they deserve a pay raise,” Willis said. “My question all along has been and it’s been answered. Who the heck gives their part-time people paid days off? Well, apparently everybody does.”
Prior to the adjustment, Children’s Librarian Kerri Kudelka was paid $9.15 per hour. She does not ever want to leave her job but was almost to the point she could not afford to continue at the job, she said.
“I was shocked when I first found out how much I was going to get paid,” Kudelka said. “And I was just hoping and praying that we would get the raises. Because my family sacrificed a lot for me to take this job. But now it’s to the point where we can’t sacrifice any more for me to continue at this job. And I don’t want to leave. I really don’t.”
The Camanche Library Board at its August meeting passed a motion to ask for an $18,000 increase effective July 1 of this year. Board Member James Griswold made the motion at the August library board meeting. The $18,000 increase would raise pay rates for library employees from $9 to $12 for the recently hired employee, from $9.15 to $13.80 for the children’s librarian and from $9.97 to $14.95 for the director’s assistant, Griswold noted at last week’s city council meeting. Griswold said he would be willing to look at funding part of the increase through the library’s own budget, he said.
“I’d be more than willing and I’m sure the other board members would be more than willing to take a look at our own budget,” Griswold said. “I can see with our own within our own budget, if the city council would even look at the library for this current year that we’re in, looking at $5,000 of that $18,000. And the city coming up with the other $13,000.”
Kida said the change would require a budget amendment.
“We’re still running a surplus,” Kida said. “So it’s not like a budget amendment would force us negative.”
Kida suggested the city council could approve an increase at last week’s meeting and do a budget amendment in a month or two. The council can consider additional salary adjustments at a future date, he said.