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updated: 6/19/2012 11:28 PM

Merit-based raises for MCC administrators?

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McHenry County College trustees floated the idea of implementing merit-based raises for administrators at a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday.

College President Vicky Smith said she hoped administrative staff would get a 3-percent raise next year, just as they did for the current academic year. Administrative wage increases have "fallen way behind" those for members of the college's Staff Council union and full-time faculty members, Smith said.

The college employs 46 administrators, but the raises wouldn't affect those hired in the last six months, or those who've reached the top of the pay scale, she said. The raises would total $103,000, she said.

A survey done last year showed that MCC's administrative salaries were about 9 to 10 percent lower compared to the state average and surrounding community colleges, Smith said. "I hope to do a second year of 3-percent (raises) to get us where others were a year or so ago," she said.

Board chairwoman Mary Miller, however, said she doesn't believe in comparing raises across groups. Merit-based raises would give employees an incentive to perform their best, she said.

"I really think we need to move into a merit-type system. We've been talking about this for seven years now," she said, adding a merit-based system could even be built into union contracts eventually.

Trustee Ronald Parrish agreed. "I don't think it's fair. I don't think it's rewarding to do (raises) across the board," he said. "I think somebody should get 5 (percent), and somebody shouldn't get any."

Trustee Cynthia Kisser said she wants to wait to make a decision until the board views at its July 26 meeting the results of a compensation and classification study being done by Florida-based consultant Evergreen Solutions. Any eventual raises can be retroactive, she said.

Trustee Carol Larson, however, said she doesn't believe in merit-based raises because they always boil down to "who likes who." "If (employees) do not live up to the expectations, then they are gone," she said.

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