After the Belleville Township board rejected raises for the township’s two employees, Supervisor Dennis Korte has given 3 percent pay raises to his two employees as the agency is scheduled to be shut down next year.
Korte had asked the township board last month to amend the budget to allow for the raises but the board voted 3-2 to reject Korte’s motion for the raises.
Since then, Korte, who is charged with hiring and firing township employees, decided to give the employees raises retroactive to April 1. Under the township rules, the board sets the budget but the supervisor sets compensation. Following the board’s rejection of his motion in May, Korte said he would talk to Township Attorney Brian Flynn about his options.
They’ll be here but they won’t be paid.
Belleville Township Supervisor Dennis Korte
And on Tuesday, Flynn told the board that Korte decided to give the employees retroactive back pay and “maybe in the future instead of having them work full workweeks, he will give them comp time in the future.”
“Is that the plan Mr. Korte?” Flynn asked. “Yes,” replied Korte, who also indicated under questioning from Flynn that he will not go over budget.
“They’ll be here but they won’t be paid,” Korte said of the two employees. After the meeting, Korte declined to comment about how the employees will be paid.
Trustee Michael Hagberg asked Flynn if he could get clarification from union leaders about whether they would allow employees be “required to work hours that they’re not getting paid for.” But Flynn told Hagberg there wasn’t a need for that because the employees haven’t raised any concerns and, “I’m not going to ask for clarification for an issue that’s not existent.”
I’m confused. I see claims for 3 percent retroactive pay and an increased payroll, yet Supervisor Korte says it’s not a pay raise, they're receiving comp time.
Belleville Township Trustee Michael Hagberg
“I’m confused. I see claims for 3 percent retroactive pay and an increased payroll, yet Supervisor Korte says it’s not a pay raise, they’re receiving comp time,” Hagberg said in a statement after the meeting. “I also don’t feel it’s right that the union employees will be required to work for free when the budgeted funds are depleted.”
Debbie Dawson and Jennifer Conklin are the township’s two caseworkers who are tasked with meeting needy individuals who ask the township for financial aid. Qualified recipients can receive up to $245 a month in assistance for rent, utilities and gift cards for food at local discount stores.
When the township’s fiscal year began on April 1, Dawson was earning $53,814 annually and Conklin $49,810.
The township board and the Belleville City Council have each passed ordinances calling for the township to be dissolved and for the city to take over the township’s duties next May.
Aldermen have created the Township Transition Task Force and asked the members to make recommendations about how the city should assume the township’s responsibilities. This group held its second meeting on Wednesday night. The task force was scheduled to pick a chairman but the group decided to take that vote at its next meeting on July 6.
Korte gave the task force members a brief overview of what the township does. Along with the financial assistance given to individuals, the township also gives grants to community service groups.