Oak Harbor adopts seasonal pay policy

Oak Harbor will no longer operate without a clear policy for setting seasonal or part-time employee wages.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to include the positions, some with implicitly ambiguous job descriptions, in the salary grid used for other posts.

“We do not have a set, uniform procedure for wage determination for temporary employees,” said Public Works Director Cathy Rosen.

Some city departments hire seasonal employees each year to meet peak workload demands. Occasionally, temporary employees are also needed to fill in for regular employees on vacation or taking leave, or to temporarily fill a vacancy until a regular employee is hired.

The new resolution establishes a procedure that will serve as a guide for administrative staff. For each new hire, the city administrator, respective department head and human resource manager will review the job description for the temporary or seasonal position and determine the closest proficiency level in the current year’s salary structure.

A recommendation to establish the pay at 90 percent of the corresponding proficiency level will then be forwarded to the mayor who will render the final determination.

Rosen said the wage is less for temporary employees, because they lack the experience and efficiency of a worker familiar with the duties. Therefore, the man or woman is not expected to perform all of the same job duties of a regular city employee.

The public works director added that for a general city laborer, the 90 percent equates to $11.95 an hour, a comparable rate to what other cities are paying seasonal employees.

Rosen said job descriptions will already be drafted for most seasonal positions. However, circumstances may dictate creating a job on the fly.

“If we have a need due to a vacany or extended leave, we may have to develop a new job description to temporarily fill in for some of the duties,” she said.

City Councilman Jim Campbell vocally disapproved of the resolution.

“I’m on record saying that I think 90 percent sounds like punishment for not having an education,” he said.

Rosen maintained that temporary employees will generally not be expected to handle all of the tasks of full-time workers familiar with the duties.

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