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Non-union police pay adjustments in Hooksett postponed until after election

HOOKSETT - The Hooksett Police Commission is considering adopting a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for 14 of its non-union employees, though they will not make a decision until after the town election.

Previously, due to the lack of a union contract, wage increases had been frozen in order to preserve wage parity. With a contract now signed, the commission has turned to address the department's non-union employees.

A cost of living adjustment is a wage increase designed to offset inflation. As prices rise and wages decrease in value, the adjustments attempt to keep the value of worker compensation at a stable level.

The adjustments would affect 14 employees within the department who do not belong to the police union, including the chief, captain, administrative workers, dispatch supervisor, prosecutor and five sergeants.

The pay increases would be effective July 1. The total cost of the adjustment would be $8,451.71.

The commission discussed the adjustments at length at their Jan. 29 meeting.

Commissioner Clark Karolian offered a motion to approve the increases, but the commission decided to postpone the vote in order to do "further research." The money has been set aside in the department's 2013-2014 budget.

The commission will pick up the question again after the town election, when their budget will be up for the approval of the voters.

The deliberative session of the town meeting will be April 5 at 9 a.m. at Cawley Middle School.

The discussion also prompted several on the commission to discuss the need to review whether or not the freeze had caused employees to miss wage increases they were due, based on the department's step increase timetable. According to Commissioner Kenneth Scherer, at least three employees have claimed that they missed wage increases that were due to them because of the freeze.

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