Green Valley Recreation hasn't included employee raises in planning for next year's budget, but that may change.

Fiscal Affairs Committee and GVR board member Tom Sadowski said he wanted staff to look into finding a way to budget for merit increases during Thursday's meeting.

However, the FAC chair Carol Crothers, also a board member, wants recommendations to come after staff provides more information to justify wage increases.

The motion came after CEO Kent Blumenthal said there were no merit increases included in the next fiscal year's draft budget. He also said there had been savings by cutting full-time employee hours. Cutting FTEs doesn't necessarily mean cutting hours or laying off workers. Reductions can come through vacant positions with workloads shifted to other employee duties.

"We cut to the bone where I've doubled up folks with some responsibilities which may not pan out fully with the workload," Blumenthal said.

Sadowski asked if there were cost of living raises being considered for staff. GVR does not give cost of living raises and only has a merit-based system, Blumenthal said.

However, Crothers said she traced personnel costs increases for the last four or five years. She claimed costs had increased 37 percent while inflation has gone up 7 percent in the same period.

"That seems quite substantial," she said.

Crothers asked staff for more background on how FTEs have changed to make committee members more comfortable with adding $100,000 to wages.

Sadowski put a motion forward to find a way to provide a merit increase for staff, which Crothers amended to come after reviewing data on FTEs and salary increases. The amended motion passed unanimously.

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