While Boise city employees pay has increased about 20 percent since Mayor David Bieter took office in 2004, the mayors salary hasnt changed.
But during that time, city staff has fared better than private and government employees in the Boise metro area, which includes Ada, Canyon, Boise, Gem and Owyhee counties. Though they did not receive a raise in 2010, Boise workers cumulative increases between 2005 and 2011 were nearly 50 percent more than what metro-area private employees saw.
Pay for other government workers in the area and statewide grew by more than 13 percent, while private employees statewide now receive 16.3 percent more money than they did in 2005.
In the same period, the total number of private sector jobs in the Boise metro area fell by 5,500, or 2.5 percent. Meanwhile, government employment in the area actually increased by 6.7 percent.
CM Company, a Boise-based commercial construction general contractor, was one of many companies that did not award most workers raises when the Great Recession hit.
Dennis Robinson, the companys president, said foregoing the companys typical 3- to 5-percent pay increases and stopping matching contributions to 401(k) plans helped avoid layoffs.
We kind of distributed the pain a little bit, Robinson said.
Robinson said he thinks raises are appropriate for both Bieter and City Council members. The same proposal that would increase Bieters salary to $109,766 in 2014 and $113,059 in 2015 would boost council members pay from $19,375 to $22,799 by 2015. Council members last received a raise in 2006. They work part-time; the mayors job is full-time.
The council is scheduled to hear a first reading of the proposed ordinance Tuesday night.
Bill Connors, president and CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, said Bieter and the council deserve a raise. He credited Bieter with helping make Boise a city that consistently ranks near the top of the countrys most livable lists.
Before the recession, Connors said, workers across the country could expect average annual raises of 4 percent to 5 percent.
Since 2008, that figure has fallen to about 3 percent. Thats in line with the raises Boise city employees have traditionally received.
While the proposed raise for Bieter is in line with city employees cumulative pay increases over a nine-year period, it may seem more daunting because it would take effect at once, instead of gradually.
On the other hand, Bieter, who makes $91,229, saved the city nearly $84,500 during that same period by not taking raises that city employees received.
Sven Berg: 377-6275