Some city employees will see salary increases over the next three years.
That’s after the Sitka Assembly, Tuesday (9/11/19), approved negotiated agreements between the city and two unions — the Alaska State Employees Association and the Public Safety Employees Association.
ASEA represents 45 city and school district employees. Those employees will receive 2.5 percent salary boosts per year, over the next three years.
The PSEA, representing Sitka Police Department officers and staff, negotiated an 8.5 percent increase overall- though some employees, like officers and sergeants, will receive slightly bigger raises than others.
Outside negotiator Kimberly Garrity said the raises outlined in both union contracts were needed to remain competitive with employers in the rest of the state and country. In January, the now former police chief Jeff Ankerfelt approached the assembly asking for $5 an hour increases for officers to help the department hire and keep officers.
“Those conversations did not continue, no decision was made by the assembly at that time,” said Garrity. “When Chief Baty arrived we continued the conversation and research in terms of what do we really need to recruit and retain our police officers.”
Garrity said she worked with interim police chief Robert Baty and the union representatives figure out how to adjust pay for 5 groups within the department.
“We proposed six percent for police and sergeants, five percent for dispatchers, four percent for corrections officers. The multi-service officer has a multitude of duties,” she said. “Ultimately, that position was agreed to at two percent and the rest of the jobs at a one-and-one-half percent increase.”
The assembly approved both agreements on 6-0 votes.