Spokane’s unionized library workers will get a 1 percent raise next year, under a contract ratified this week.
Not knowing how contract negotiations would end, the library’s preliminary budget set aside money for a 5 percent raise, said Spokane Public Library Director Pat Partovi. Money that won’t be needed for raises can be shifted to help prevent the closure of the East Side branch, at 524 S. Stone St.
Closure of the branch has been among the most controversial and debated proposals in the city’s 2011 budget.
Details of the contract agreement were released Wednesday.
The Spokane Public Library board of trustees will vote on the contract at a meeting at 5 p.m. today at the downtown Spokane Public Library. The board also will vote on a proposal to set aside $65,000 for merit pay raises in 2011 for the library system’s 38 nonunion employees, said library spokeswoman Eva Silverstone.
The 2011 preliminary budget had anticipated about $120,000 would be used for those workers. Nonunionized library employees did not get raises in 2010.
About 65 library workers are represented by Local 270 of the American Federation of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees. They voted to extend their current contract, which expires at the end of the year, through 2011. That deal calls for annual pay raises based on inflation, with a minimum of 1 percent and maximum of 4.5 percent. Since inflation figures cited in the contract are currently below 1 percent, that would set next year’s raise at 1 percent.