COOPERSTOWN — Eighty Otsego County managerial workers, including two elected officials, will be getting pay raises early next year after a narrowly divided county Board of Representatives decided Wednesday that nearly six years without an increase was too long.
Some managers had gone without raises for so long that the union workers they supervise now get paid more than they do.
In one of the closest votes in recent years, the pro-raise faction, following a heated debate, narrowly edged the objectors, with 3,211 weighed votes in favor of the pay hike to 3,016 opposed to it.
The issue threatened to become a last-minute hitch in the adoption of a county budget for 2014. But the $125 million spending plan, as expected, was approved after the schedule of raises was added to the fiscal blueprint.
The budget levy for 2014 will amount to an increase of .14 over the amount called for in 2013, according to county Treasurer Dan Crowell. The tax levy increase, which hinges in part on the budget levy, will not be known until later this month, he said.
Non-union employees who have been on the payroll for five years or longer will see their salaries increase by 5 percent effective Jan. 1, while the increases would amount to 1 percent per year for each year of longevity for the others. For instance, a manager who has been on the job for three years and seven months would get a pay increase of just shy of 3.6 percent.
The increases will not be retroactive. They will cost the county approximately $159,000 in the coming year, officials said.
The two elected officials getting the raises are County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner and Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. Both qualified for the 5-percent raise, based on their length of service.
The raise proposal was cinched when Rep. James Powers, R-Butternuts, broke ranks with his fellow Republicans to join the board’s seven Democrats in coming out for the increases.