APPLETON - Nonunion workers in the City of Appleton will see their wagesstay flat next year.
More than 180 employees will be affected by the move, approvedunanimously by the city council Wednesday night.
Council members say there really is no other choice for the cityas it tries to meet a projected $2.5 million dollar deficit.
The city's budget plans are being built around anacross-the-board wage freeze.
"I think the time has come for this to start," alderman JimClemons said. "I was very pleased that it was unanimous support,but I'm not very pleased that we have to do it in the firstplace."
Pay for city employees, including city directors, libraryworkers and other nonunion staff will be held at the 2010 rate in2011, saving the city an estimated $400,000.
The council is hoping to save additional money by freezing payfor union employees as well. Appleton will enter negotiations withthe city's 15 unions when contracts expire at the end of theyear.
Even with a city-wide wage freeze, Appleton must still cutspending by an additional $2.5 million.
"If we don't do that we're looking closer to $4 million,"Clemons said.
No one spoke against the decision at the meeting, but some hadworries the freeze wouldn't be felt across the board.
"The concern is that the library staff is not represented and wewant to make sure that they are treated equitably along with theother city employees," Library Board Director Liz Witek said.
However, Witek says library workers understand that times aredifficult for everyone, like others they are willing to do theirpart.
"As long as everyone is treated fairly," Witek said. "That's allwe're looking for."
Appleton has around 600 workers, nonunion employees account forabout a third of city staff.
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