Dear Editor,

This letter is regarding the Marinette County Employees wage adjustment that will be decided by the County Board of Supervisors June 30. First we want to say thank you to Supervisors Pazynski, Grebin and Gruszynski for voting against the motion to not give county employees the cost of living raise in 2021 at their Administrative Committee meeting. The county employees truly appreciate your support. We don’t believe it has been clear how this will affect county employees.

Some departments have employees that are maxed in their steps from the Carlson-Dettman Plan which means if they don’t receive a cost of living raise for 2021, they will not even be considered for a raise until 2023. Is this fair? Can they be guaranteed that the cost of living or insurance premiums will not increase for them over the next two years? The answer is clear, no. As Supervisor Seefelt said at the meeting “there’s no guarantees in life.”

In the meantime, while these employees won’t receive a raise for at least two years, other employees who have less years of experience and fall under a step six in the Carlson-Dettman Plan will receive a step raise in 2021 and in 2022 and those employees above a step six who are not maxed will receive a step raise in 2022. This seems to be a recurring pattern of administration, to push out employees with the most years of service and those who have committed their careers to Marinette County.

Administrator Lefebvre says “I don’t believe it would look good to the general public” and “I’m not comfortable giving a cost of living increase.” How does it look or feel to the employees that you don’t want to give them a raise but we continue to build the environmental green space on the old LEC building? How can we justify spending money on something that is not essential when employees are essential to the county and their departments? This continued construction should not look good to the public as it feels like a slap in the face to the county employees. Some offices were able to allow their employees to work remotely but not all offices had this option. Our office did not. Courts continued to hold mandatory hearings, officers continued to write citations, the DA continued to charge criminal complaints, attorneys and pro se litigants continued to file civil suits, new divorces, etc., which meant we had to be available to process. We did not have a remote option as the courthouse never fully closed.

We truly believe a cost of living raise is something all the county employees deserve and agree with Supervisor Pazynski “let’s not (be) chintzy.”

 

Denise Sunstrom, Kristi Cagle, Mallory Kniskern, Carrie Brazeau, Jonie Martin, Cheryl Drees

Marinette County employees