Public Library Board voted 6-0 Thursday in favor of advertising the proposed
2017 budget with increases in salaries for the public hearing in October.
The board met an
hour early on Thursday to look at the work done by a salary committee
comprised of WPL Director Leea Yelich and board members Kathryn Cochran and
Michele Corazzo, after months of contemplating raises to bring salaries more
in line with other library systems.
increases proposed occur in the salaries of supervisory assistants whose
salaries have remained about the same as they were 20 years ago, ranging
from $25,500 to $42,716 for 2016. For next year, those salaries would range
from $33,150 to $55,531, according to the committee’s suggestions.
Salaries in the
past have generally been increased by 2 percent, but some for 2017 year may
be increased by as much as 30 percent.
Board member Drew
Rhed asked about the steeper figure boosts, especially when some of the
employees have only been in their positions for about a year. “It’s a large
jump for not having lost anybody,” he said.
Rhed said he agrees
with the notion of raises, as he was one of the first proponents, but told
his colleagues they should be ready to give an explanation to the public of
Board member Abbe
Trent said they looked at what other libraries pay their employees in
“We should raise
our standards and be more competitive,” Trent said.
Even with the
raises, WPL will still be in the low to medium range in comparison to other
pay scales, said Cochran. “We have experience and experience is valuable,”
Rhed said he does
get that the reason is to have “a more equalized playing field.”
Board member Nick
Tilden said the salary study “demonstrates where (WPL) lacks” and said now
is when “we have an excellent time to fix it.”
“This work hasn’t
been done in a very long time,” he said.
The final salary
figure proposed in the 2017 budget is $1,946,625 compared to $1,803,800 for
the current year. The changes also increased the dollar amount of FICA and
PERF employee benefits, although the amount budgeted for the group insurance
decreased from $370,000 to $300,000.
another factor that went into deciding salaries, Yelich said. The level of
responsibility in the refurbished job descriptions was another.
The WPL 2017
budget’s total figure to be advertised is $3.306 million which includes the
state’s 3.8 percent growth quotient. The 2016 budget estimate was $3.184
In other matters
-- Yelich said
Sunday, Oct. 23 is the tentative date for the Library Service Center
renaming ceremony. The LSC will be called The Baugher Center in honor of
retired WPL Director Phil Baugher who will be at the ceremony.
-- WPL on Monday,
Aug. 15, will go live with the Statewide Remote Circulation Service (SRCS),
one of 67 libraries to do so. With SRCS, a “virtual union catalog” will be
created for patrons to request materials from other libraries around the
state. Yelich said WPL will only be loaning items from its general adult
collections that it’s had for one year. WPL will still use its current ILL
system for resident and non-resident patrons’ requests unable to be
fulfilled through SRCS.
-- Pokemon Go fever
has made its way to WPL. Every Friday, both Thomas and Hageman branches and
the Westchester Twp. History Museum become Pokemon lure sites to attract
Pokemon in the area. Over 600 “Pokeprizes” have been given so far.
-- WPL’s Snack
Program served 1,247 free snacks to kids this summer and the finisher rate
for the Children’s Summer Reading program increased by 45.5 percent.
-- The board passed
an annual resolution to participate in the Indiana State Library Consortium
which makes WPL qualify for eRate funding.