ROCK ISLAND -- A more than 20 percent raise in pay for the secretary of the Rock Island County Board has members of the county labor union screaming foul.
In a letter to the editor of The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, the executive board of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2025 criticized the county board for its ``very sneaky'' handling of a salary increase for board secretary Shelly Chapman.
However, the board's finance committee chairman, Jim Bohnsack, said Ms. Chapman's $8,000 pay hike is part of a widespread effort to increase salaries in posts that are overdue for a raise.
``(Ms. Chapman) was way, way under other secretaries' pay in the county,'' Mr. Bohnsack said. ``Ask any county board member, and they'll tell you we're probably still not paying Shelly Chapman enough.''
A $6,000 pay raise, approved through a voice vote at the last county board meeting, combined with an across-the-board increase of about $2,000, puts Ms. Chapman's annual salary at about $29,000, according to Mr. Bohnsack.
He said the board approved the raise largely because Ms. Chapman has taken on additional responsibilities since the board's restructuring.
In its letter, the union criticized the new salary, saying, ``Chief deputies with double-digit years of service will be making less than the secretary of the county board.''
While the county auditor confirmed at least one 13-year chief deputy makes less than Ms. Chapman's new salary, Mr. Bohnsack said that probably will change.
``We're currently looking at chief deputies' pay,'' he said. ``These are non-union jobs, and we can go a little slower without a contract deadline.''