More wage increases OK’d for township employees

FLINT TWP. — Township Trustee Belenda Parker and Barb Vert said they privately assured Police Chief George Sippert that they have no complaints about his job performance but still voted against his contract extension because it included a raise.

Parker and Vert continue to hold their stance against 2 1/2 percent raises offered to all township labor groups. They said the timing is wrong so soon after voters approved a Public Safety Ordinance that township officials said was direly needed to prevent layoffs.

Details of Sippert’s contract were not made public. Ten-month contract extensions for both police and fire chief previously were approved in February and expire at the end of this month.

A contract extension for Fire Chief John Ringwelski was removed from the board’s agenda Monday night.

The board also approved a tentative agreement, including a wage increase, with Police Communication Operators – Teamsters Local 214.

Vert and Parker also voted against that contract which was approved 4-2. Township Clerk Kim Courts was absent.

During public comment, the board heard from a couple of members of the audience that taxpayers feel duped for having voted for the Public Safety Millage only to have the board immediately start handing out raises. One pointed out that his taxes keep going up but his fixed income does not.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller noted that the small raise does not cover the increased costs of health care that employees also are being asked to pay next year. She also previously has said that township employees have not had a raise in five years.

The Local 214 agreement is effective until Dec. 31, 2015.

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