Three Percent Raise Included in the 2019 Salary Ordinance for the City of Knox

Employees who work for the City of Knox will see a 3 percent pay raise in 2019, following a decision made by city council members last week.

The 2019 Salary Ordinance was up for consideration during last Tuesday’s city council meeting. In addition to the raise, the ordinance had a few other changes as well.

Mayor Dennis Estok noted that in the past, seasonal part-time workers didn’t get any paid holidays. With the change to the 2019 Salary Ordinance, they will now get three paid holidays.

Estok said it will be the three major holidays in the summer; Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. He added that they may not get those specific days off due to city events that they may assist with but they’ll still get a paid day off to make up for it.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston shared that there were some changes made to bring the salary ordinance into compliance with the approved employee handbook. The first change he brought up was specifically related to compensation for police officers who work on holidays.

Houston explained, “We use to give $900 a year to the police and that was split up on their paycheck, in lieu of paying holiday pay. Now, if the work on a holiday, they will get paid holiday pay in addition to the hours that they work.”

He noted that this adjustment was made at the recommendation of some of the officers as well as Police Chief Harold Smith.

Houston mentioned another change that was made to the city’s policy on accumulating sick days and how it had to be reflected in next year’s salary ordinance.

He said the old policy permitted employees to receive payment for a certain amount of unused sick days when they left their job with the city. Now if employees leave, they will not be compensated for any of their unused sick days.

He said the policy was changed because it’s difficult to account for something like that in the budget and it’s not really a standard procedure in most municipalities in this day and age.

After officials finished explaining the changes, the 2019 Salary Ordinance was adopted without any opposition from the council members.