RACINE — The city employees who work at the Racine Library are one step closer to getting a piece of the $125,000 the city earmarked for them.
The Racine Public Library’s finance and personnel committee voted Friday to recommend the city move forward with bonuses for employees who work at the library — as opposed to pay raises.
The matter will now go before the Board of Library Trustees for a vote and then back to the City Council.
The committee recommended that the money be distributed based on annual hours and dollar amounts per hour, so that full-time employees would receive the larger amount.
Full-time employees would receive $2,292 and part-time employees would receive $1,222 after the Wisconsin Retirement System and FICA deduction.
The library has 28 full time employees and 35 part time employees.
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The Racine City Council set aside $125,000 for pay increases for city employees working in the library, but the library’s board of trustees voted against implementation because of fears that pay increases could not be sustained in subsequent years. Is.
It was not the first time the library’s board of trustees had voted against pay increases that other city employees were receiving. In December 2021, the board voted against a 3% pay gap for employees who live in the city.
The city council adopted a pay gap to encourage its employees to stay in Racine to offset the high cost of doing so.
Twenty of the library’s 25 full-time employees live in the city.
Matters took a turn at a January council meeting when Kathleen Fischer, the city’s finance director, said the bonuses were wages.
Library staff used the public comment period during that meeting to encourage the board of trustees that inflation was making life difficult for everyone, considering the money the city was paying.
Knowing they could use the $125,000 for the bonus, the library’s board of trustees opted to revisit the issue.
At Friday’s meeting, the committee presented five-year financials to reinforce the point that the library could not keep up with wage increases. The city’s contribution to the library has remained flat during that time period.
There was also concern that the city’s budget was lumped together with the one-time ARPA fund.
Melissa Kaprelyan, who is the chair of the library board as well as the city council liaison, has repeatedly stated that the city has never reinstated the requirement that all city departments make 10% cuts in 2021.
Racine Public Library’s 125th Birthday Celebration
Racine Public Library’s new Techmobile is seen on Friday.
Brothers Ricardo, left, and Daniel Rocha paint during the Racine Public Library’s 125th birthday celebration on Friday.
Cody Simpkins plays with bubbles being distributed by TechMobile Fridays during the Racine Public Library’s 125th birthday celebration.
Daisy, one of the library’s Rough Readers, poses at the Racine Public Library on Friday. Kids can read Dogs Monday through Thursday at 4-5 p.m.
Ali Michalek, one of the children’s librarians for the library, reads the book “The Book Hog” on Friday
crowd of onlookers at story time
Jessica Brooks, rear, helps her son Linus on the Techmobile as he helps fill it with books on Friday.
Shae Qing, head of business development for the library, stands next to a book bike in front of the Racine Public Library on Friday.
Melissa Donaldson, Head of Digital Services and Innovation at the Library, poses inside TechMobile Fridays
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