Fifty-five department directors and mid-management employees are receiving a considerable raise from the city of Manhattan Beach.
The resolution, passed 3-2 by the City Council at the Oct. 15 meeting, calls for the city to match the total compensation for the group of unrepresented management employees to the 75th percentile of comparable municipalities, such as Santa Monica and Redondo Beach.
This move entails a base salary increase to match the 75th percentile and a 7 percent or 9 percent raise to offset the elimination of the city’s employer-paid contribution to the employee’s retirement benefits via CalPERS.
Under the resolution, these employees now pay 5 percent of their medical insurance, with the city contributing 95 percent of the premium. They are also eligible to receive a 5 percent pay increase based on performance until they reach the top step of their salary range.
These adjustments will cost the city nearly $500,000 in 2013-2014 and about $420,000 in the following years.
The raises have been a long time coming, City Manager Dave Carmany explained to council. The group, known as confidential/management employees, took a small raise during the 2008-2009 recession and haven’t received one since, he said. As such, he said, a number of supervisors are earning the same amount as or less than their subordinates.
Councilmen Mark Burton and Tony D’Errico voted against the resolution, citing their concern for setting a precedence for subordinate city employees in bargaining groups. While expressing support for granting a pay raise, they said setting the 75th percentile could trigger a spike in pension costs.
“As we allow these salary ranges to rise, either we’re going to have positions at the top that are unaffordable or not be able to pay comparative salaries to the lower-tier worker bees,” D’Errico said.