Following the lead of Island County commissioners, the Port of South Whidbey’s executive director has decided to set a $20-an-hour minimum wage for staff members.
Executive Director Stan Reeves broached the subject at a recent Port of South Whidbey meeting, pointing to the South Whidbey Record article about the bump in pay for county employees.
“I think it’s probably appropriate that we do the exact same thing here and set that dollar amount for our permanent part-time and full-time employees,” he said.
There are currently two full-time staff members who make below $20 an hour: the assistant harbor master at South Whidbey Harbor and the campground host/maintenance technician at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds and Events Center. One of the two positions makes as low as $17 an hour.
Port Commissioners Curt Gordon and Jack Ng expressed support for Reeves’ idea. As the executive director, Reeves has the latitude to set salaries and wages within budget constraints.
Reeves said in an email to The Record that if he decides to formalize a minimum wage for port employees, he will need to present a policy to the board of commissioners for their approval.
“It is likely that I will recommend changes to our ‘compensation and leave policy’ to incorporate this and a couple of other minor changes next month,” he said.
The change in wages for the two employees will come to an additional cost of approximately $11,500 a year. For 2022, the port budgeted $13,000 for a compensation reserve fund. Reeves said that any additional funding, if needed, will come from money budgeted for two vacant positions, which remain unfilled at this time.