With all of Palo Alto's labor groups engaged in negotiations over new contracts, the City Council swiftly approved raises this week for four top City Hall officials.
The council unanimously approved on Monday night salary increases for City Manager James Keene, City Attorney Molly Stump, City Auditor Harriet Richardson and City Clerk Beth Minor. The four positions are the only ones that get filled through direct appointments by the council.
Under the approved terms, Keene will get a 3.5 percent pay bump effective last July, raising his annual salary from $275.353 to $285,001. Stump will see a 4.75 percent increase, which raises her salary from $246,688 to $258,419. Richardson's salary will move from $167,600 to $173,368 -- a 3.5 percent increase. Minor's will go up by 1 percent, from $135,000 to $136,364.
According to a report from Keene's office, the changes are based on both merit and costs-of-living increases and take into account salaries for similar positions in other jurisdictions. The council also specified that no other salary increases will be applied to these four positions, which do not belong to any labor group, and which are not subject to the bonuses and salary adjustments that the city makes available to the employees in the broader Management and Professional group.
With the four amendments quickly approved on the council's "consent calendar," with no discussion or debate, the council will now shift its focus on the tougher task of reaching agreements with its major labor unions. On Monday, Feb. 8, the council is scheduled to spend at least two and a half hours in a closed session meeting to discuss the labor talks with the city's negotiators.
These include the city's contract talks with the largest union, the Service Employees International Union, Local 521, and with its two largest public-safety unions, the Palo Alto Police Officers Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1319.
The city is also now in the midst of negotiations with the Utilities Management and Professional Association of Palo Alto, the Palo Alto Police Managers' Association and the Palo Alto Fire Chiefs' Association.