Council approves plan to restructure park complex employee hours; tweaking needed

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

The way the full-time employees at the Pierz Golf Course and Park Complex are paid will soon change.

The Council approved a proposal on a 3-2 vote to put Golf Course Superintendent Daniel Baert on a salary and to make the assistant superintendent position held by Zachary Baert, full-time seasonal.

Under the proposal, Daniel Baert could be called in to work during the winter months to read meters, remove snow, etc. He would receive benefits under Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) and the $750 monthly insurance stipend as other full-time employees do.

The salary is to be negotiated, but will be set around on his current wage (on the step plan set at step 10 which is at $21.29 per hour) based on 2,080 hours per year.

Any hours between 40 – 48 hours will be accrued at regular compensation (no overtime), but those hours over 48 will be compensated at time and a half. Currently comp time for hours over 40 have been accrued at time and a half. This bank of hours can accrue and be used, but will not be paid out if the employee leaves the city.

The salaried employee will be able to take days off during the summer season, coordinating coverage of the golf course and campgrounds with part-time employees.

During the winter months, Daniel will continue to receive a paycheck and benefits, but can be called in if he is needed in the Public Works Department.

A time clock will be used to track his hours, which are expected to be between 32 – 40, but could be more if needed.

The new full-time seasonal position would be paid at an hourly rate and the employee would receive unemployment during the off-months, accruing no comp time.

Originally, the proposal said the position would be 40 hours per week, with absolutely no overtime allowed. A compromise had the Council approving overtime if such overtime had been approved by a member of the Council.

The full-time seasonal employee would receive PERA and a uniform allowance, but no insurance stipend, which is currently the case.

The Council was expected to meet with the Baerts Thursday evening to discuss the changes and any tweaking that may be needed.

The vote to approve the restructuring found Council Members Matt Bell and Don Bujalski and Mayor Toby Egan voting “yes” and Council members Stephanie Fyten and Menden.

Fyten did not agree, and said she was not a fan of the proposal. She felt the city should continue as it does now, but monitor the overtime.

Menden was reluctant to vote yes because he said he felt it needed more fine-tuning.

Bell said through discussions the Council had during work session, the general consensus was that the overtime was excessive.

“If we have an employee putting in 50, 55, 60 hours a week, we could hire someone else and not pay ovetime,” he said.

Bujalski added that it was not healthy for an employee to work that many hours in a week.