How the city council can increase union pay at a single meeting (Bonus: Bloomington’s salary ordinances since the beginning of time)

The Bloomington city council’s first meeting of 2019 on Wednesday includes an agenda item that would make changes to the compensation of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees) employees.

Wednesday’s agenda item is an amendment to the salary ordinance for 2019, approved by the city council in October 2018. At the time, the city and the union had not yet achieved a collectively bargained agreement.

The legislative packet for this week’s meeting reflects a measure of urgency. According to information in the packet, the city’s first payroll period in 2019 ends on January 12. The council’s next regular meeting after Wednesday falls on Jan. 16.  That means in order for the union’s pay increase to be incorporated into the first paycheck of the year, the council would need to approve the ordinance amendment this week, at Wednesday’s meeting.

Final approval of the union pay increase on Wednesday would require a departure from the council’s typical practice. The city council typically hears a first reading of an ordinance at one meeting and does not hear a second reading or take a vote on it until some subsequent meeting.

That practice isn’t just a cultural habit. It’s ensconced in  the city’s municipal code that regulates city council procedures. But the city code provides a legal way for the council to act with greater urgency.

If there is unanimous consent to handle the ordinance at the same meeting when the first reading is heard, then the union pay increase could be approved on Wednesday. (At least six of the nine members of the council have to be present.) From Bloomington’s municipal code:

2.04.300 – Ordinances and resolutions—Readings required.
(a) Every ordinance shall be given two readings before a vote may be taken on its passage and no ordinance shall be passed on the same day or at the same meeting as it is introduced except by unanimous consent of the members present, at least two-thirds of the members being present and voting. An ordinance may not be debated or amended at its first reading or introduction unless state or federal requirements provide otherwise.

The city of Bloomington archives copies of all ordinances considered by the council on its website. Considered to be separate categories, and archived separately, are appropriation ordinances and resolutions.

Extracted from the website archive of resolutions and presented in the table below are ordinances related to the setting of salaries of any kind. (Technically, it’s a table of resolutions that mention “salaries” or “salary” in their titles.)

The numbering convention for ordinances incorporates the year as the first two digits.

For example, in 1955, Ordinance 55-02 set the salary  for the mayor of Bloomington at $5,700. Last year, Ordinance 18-19 set the salary for the mayor at $107,508

NUMBER RESULT LINK TITLE
18-19 Passed Download
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