The Kanawha County Public Library system’s board has approved giving 1.5% annual pay raises to employees who score at least “satisfactory” on their yearly performance appraisals.
The policy, which the board approved Monday in a voice vote with no nays heard, has a couple of catches. It says workers shall be “entitled” to the raise “provided that the budget for such fiscal year includes said increases.”
Also, the board can give individual employees bigger raises “based on individual merit and other factors,” the policy says. It doesn’t define merit or the other factors.
All 121 part-time and full-time workers will be eligible, save for the system director. Erika Connelly, who will start in that position next month, will make $115,000 annually.
Interim Director April Wallace wrote in an email that the most common position is Library Assistant II, with an average annual salary of $23,189.
Wallace wrote that the only level below satisfactory is unsatisfactory, which triggers a probationary period — not to exceed six months — in which the worker must show improvement or face termination.
The first 1.5% raises would take effect July 1.
Board member Jim Withrow said the policy would provide “some motivation or some incentive for employees to realize that we value their services and try to look out for them, rather than, as we have done in the past, do a haphazard or ad hoc raise.”
Chris Winton, an attorney for the board, said in past years, “It had accumulated to where there were no salary increases or adjustments over long periods of time, and then it became rather ad hoc.”
Board member Jennifer Pauer said in a written statement that “our ability to retain experienced employees improves public service and saves money on recruitment, hiring and training.”
Among those in attendance for the vote were board members Pauer, Withrow, Monika Jaensson, John Jarrett, Thomas Hurney, Susan Shumate, Debra Sullivan and Ben Thomas, though others may have joined by phone.