Mar 262016

By Linda Kor
After a lengthy discussion on a potential salary and wage increase for employees for the upcoming fiscal year, the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board made the decision that rather than provide a two percent increase in salary for Northland Pioneer College employees, a $550 lump sum stipend would be provided to all full-time employees, with the amount to be pro-rated for part-time employees.
In addition to the stipend, the college will pay $30 per month for employees who use the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) medical plan, $30 each month to their Health Savings Account for employees who have the high deductible health plan and $40 per month for dental coverage. NPC will also pay $178,200 for its portion of the health insurance cost.
Prior to making their decision, the board weighed in on the options and actual benefits to employees. The board decided there were three options they would consider, each including the $178,200 college portion. The first option included a two percent salary and wage increase. A second option included the monthly health insurance allotments noted above, but no salary or wage increase. The third option would provide a one percent salary and wage increase, as well as the monthly health insurance allotments.
Board member James Matteson related that he had considered the matter closely and from his analysis, a good portion of a percentage increase in income would easily be swallowed up in taxes. “I think any increases should be toward medical than toward a two percent wage increase,” he stated.
Board member Frank Lucero then provided a solution that the board was most pleased with when he suggested taking the third option, but rather than a percentage increase in salary and wages, use the one percent amount of $125,000 and divide it amongst the employees as a lump sum stipend. The board unanimously agreed, with the stipend to be provided to employees effective July 1.