Helper workers to receive first
raise in 4 years, 3 percent COLA
Helper's municipal workers, who have not seen a pay raise since 2009, will get a 3 percent cost of living adjustment.
The increase approved by the city council Thursday applies to full-time and permanent part-time employees.
"It's not inexpensive to train someone," noted council member Chris Pugliese, whose personal experience was the basis for that statement. He left the Helper Police Department to join Price's last year.
Aside from the chief, there is no difference in pay between someone who has been Helper's payroll for years on someone who has just come off probation, Pugliese said.
Elsewhere in the city, pay varies with job description. However, there was some concern that utility and clerical workers might also be tempted to leave for greener pastures elsewhere.
"We don't want to be a training ground for other departments," commented Mayor Ed Chavez.
Pugliese noted that in small operations such as Helper's, employees tend to have additional responsibilities that workers in bigger don't worry about. Small-towners don't have the clerical and information technology support that bigger cities have, he explained.
Helper runs all of its city services - including police - with 14 full-time workers and a handful of permanent part-timers and seasonal employees.
The cost of living adjustment is effective immediately.