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City increases pay for minimum wage workers

Part-time and seasonal city employees can expect to see an increase on their next paycheck.

Posted: Jan 17, 2019 6:34 PM

(ST. JOSEPH,MO) Part-time and seasonal city employees can expect to see an increase on their next paycheck. In November Missouri voters opted to increase the state minimum wage each year until it reached $12 an hour in 2023.

St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Director Chuck Kempf said despite Proposition B excusing government employers from the minimum wage increase, city officials felt not increasing the minimum wage would make them a less competitive employer. The parks department typically employs 150-200 part-time and seasonal workers throughout the year.

The city will increase wages for entry level employees from $7.85 per hour to $8.60 per hour,and incrementally increase the pay scale for other part-time employees making less than $10 an hour.

Kempf said the Parks Board has considered increasing fees for different park services to help offset the cost of increasing wages.

“We would like to obviously help cover the cost of the minimum wage increase without impacting the users significantly,”Kempf said. “We are trying to find something that we can generate a little more revenue to help cover [the costs], but also not have a negative impact on the people that are using our facility.”

No fees increases have been approved by the Parks Board, but Kempf said places like Fairview Golf Course or the Remington Nature Center, that have recently increased their fees, will be exempt.

The minimum wage increase for city employees is only secured for this year. In the future, Kempf said city staff will make an annual decision on how to provide competitive wages for part-time workers.

“In the next four years minimum wage continues to go up, it’s going to continue to be a challenge for all kinds of companies and organizations, but there has been no decision made yet on the future years,” Kempf said. “Each year will be its own separate decision by city staff as well as the city council, because they (the increases) are going to be significant.”

City employees that make minimum wage can expect to see the increase on their next paycheck.

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