Proposal to Revisit Council Services Salaries

January 24, 2019, 7:34 AM HST · Updated January 24, 7:34 AM
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Michael Molina. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Councilmember Michael J. Molina has transmitted a proposed resolution seeking to revise the salaries of the Office of Council Services staff.  The revision, he said, is to be consistent with the salary levels at the end of the Council Term 2017 to 2019.

At its meeting on Jan. 2, 2019, the Maui County Council approved Resolution No. 19 10. Draft 1, entitled, which included the appointment of various positions in the Office of Council Services, as well as the setting of salaries and step increases for the various staff members.

Councilmember Molina is asking Council Chair Kelly King to place the new proposed resolution on the Council agenda, because of a concern that the salary increases, and step increases were not available for public review.

The resolution posted on the Jan. 2, 2019 agenda included the same level of pay for the Council Services staff as at the end of the Council Term 2017-2019; however, an amendment was offered during the meeting that increased the salaries of various staff members.

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“Even though I supported Resolution 19-10, Draft 1, I realized after the fact the salary increases were not made available to the public prior to the meeting and as a result did not have the opportunity to testify,” said Molina.  “In an era of transparency and open government it’s only fair that the public have the opportunity to testify on the proposed pay increases.”

After further thought the Councilmember Molina said he believes that salary increases should be reviewed and determined during budget deliberations when all staff members’ salaries are discussed.

“The approval of a salary and step increase for Council Services also places the Council in a very difficult position as it relates to negotiations with employee unions,” said Molina. “Approving raises and step increases to Council staff, but not providing step increase to hundreds of county employees could be perceived as hypocritical.”

Councilmember Molina said he received numerous calls from county employees which have not received step increases for over six years. The step increases were negotiated and included in the employee bargaining unit contracts, but the County has not funded the increases.

“It’s not fair to county employees to tell them we don’t have the money to give you step increases, but we can do it for our own council staff,” said Molina. “What kind of message does this send to our county employees?”

“Council Services staff is a very hard working, dedicated group of employees.  The intention of my proposed resolution is to make the playing field fair and equitable for all employees and is no way a reflection on Council Services job performance,” said Councilmember Molina.

The proposed resolution was transmitted to the County Clerks office for consideration by the Council Chair to place the matter on the next Council meeting agenda for Feb. 1, 2019.

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