Juneau assembly weighs Eaglecrest pay

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - With many questions being sent to Juneau city hall regarding pay at Eaglecrest, officials were briefed on the matter during the assembly finance meeting last night.

    "I think we can all look at the wage schedule for Eaglecrest and realize that there's something that probably needs repair," said Jeff Rodgers, City finance director. In his memo to the committee, he highlighted that Eaglecrest has its own unique salary schedule with 13 ranges and 20 steps. The lowest range and step pay is at $8.50 an hour.

    According to Rodgers, employees are not hired at $8.50 an hour, and of all currently active Eaglecrest employees, three currently earn $9.50 an hour and six earn $10.00 an hour.

    Dallas Hargrave, Human Resources & Risk Management Director, proposed a re-stepped salary schedule. The proposal calls for adjusting the existing Eaglecrest salary schedule upward for all ranges by reestablishing the lowest step at $11.00 an hour. "It does not solve Eaglecrest overall wage competitiveness issues, but it does solve the base issue of of having any positions working below Alaska minimum wage," Rodgers said.

    The Eaglecrest Board has the sole authority to authorize and implement wage increases.

    Mike Satre, Chair of the Eaglecrest Board, said recruitment and retention of staff has been an issue and the pay plan has been one of the roots of the issue. He said that the current board stands ready to take action to address the issue, given the good snow years and revenues they have been seeing as of late.

    "The board is committed to making sure our staff is paid well, we do not want to subsidize our winter recreation on the backs of our employees, some of who have been there for decades and have really committed to ensuring that Juneau has a great place for winter recreation," he said. "We want to support them, we want to retain them, we want to pay them what they're worth."

    Assembly Member Michelle Hale noted that wage increases will require general funds from the city.

    "I just want to remind myself and remind everybody on the assembly that, while we want to increase those wages and we don't want to pay people below minimum wage, we have to pay for it with our budget," said Assembly Member Michelle Hale. "I just want to make sure we remember that, and we haven't done that in the past, we haven't increased enough to cover those increased wages, and it will come to us in our budget process."

    The Assembly will receive the Eaglecrest budget request in April, Rodgers said members should likely expect that the budget will indicate some aspiration for a wage increase in FY23.

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