WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Keokuk Employees In Line For Wage Hikes

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk's firefighters and police officers have already negotiated 3% raises, effective July 1, through their employee unions.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Susan Dunek says the city has now reached tentative agreements with the unions representing the wastewater treatment plant and the general unit. She says those deals call for 2% wage hikes on July 1.

Dunek says, with that in mind, the city will also give its non-union employees 2% increases.

"Our non-bargaining unit people work for a living also," said Dunek, "and they provide valuable services to the citizens of Keokuk."

Dunek says the new contracts and the non-union wage hikes are expected to be approved next week.

Keokuk's budget for the upcoming fiscal year factors in 2% wage hikes for all city employees.

Dunek says an upcoming military deployment will allow the city to make up the difference for the larger increases for members of the Keokuk Police and Fire Departments. She says the city will hold the employee's position in the police department during the deployment, but will not have to pay the salary and benefits.

Dunek says the Finance Committee would like the Police Committee to determine whether to fill that position, for the time being, or leave it vacant until the employee's deployment ends. She says the Police Committee should also examine an upcoming retirement in the Keokuk Police Department to see if that position should remain vacant.

The city received a grant that requires minimum staffing levels. If Keokuk drops below a specific level, it may have to repay the grant money.