Some Pulaski County Highway Department employees will finally be getting a pay raise. The county council voted Monday to raise the pay rate for the department’s seasonal part-time employees from $13 to $15, and make the raise retroactive to May.
The matter had been tabled last month, to give council members a chance to review the Highway Department’s budget. During Monday’s meeting, Highway Superintendent Terry Ruff once again said the necessary funds had been budgeted, and the two employees in question were actually paid the $15 rate for about a month, before they were cut back down to $13. “These guys have been here four and five years,” Ruff said. “I call them experienced seasonal. You know, they’re good. They run payloaders and stuff. I don’t know how in the heck you can justify paying them $13 an hour.”
One of the concerns raised by Council Member Ken Boswell was that regular part-time employees only make $14 an hour, and he didn’t think it was fair that seasonal workers should be paid a different amount
Ruff expressed frustration that Monday’s meeting was the third time he went before the county council to ask for a decision. “I don’t know why this is such a complicated issue,” he said. “I don’t understand. I could come in here and you will bless me to buy a dump truck for $185,000, and I can’t pay a guy $15 an hour to drive the dang thing. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
The discussion continued for almost 15 minutes, before the pay raise was unanimously approved.