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County library board embraces 3% raises for 2014

– Most Allen County Public Library employees will be getting 3 percent raises in 2014.

Library board members Thursday unanimously approved the pay increase package, which calls for 3 percent increases to the library’s pay ranges except for the bottom four, which will see 6 percent increases.

Library Director Jeff Krull said the 3 percent increase this year was the first in six years. In that time, he said, the library’s wages have become less competitive, making it harder to attract employees.

In the higher job ranges, he said, the minimum pay for the range is almost never used because the library pays what it has to pay to draw key talent. But the starting wages are paid at the lower ranges, he said, and a larger increase is badly needed there.

“We do hire at those minimums,” Krull said.

The wage and benefit package also includes a new incentive program that awards points to employees for activities that promote good health. Those points can be used at the end of the year to get a small reimbursement on some of their health care costs.

The library is self-insured for its health plan and uses PHP as its third-party administrator. So healthier employees translate directly to savings for the library.

“We think people will feel that by doing this, the institution cares about their health,” Krull said.

Krull also reported that Library Journal magazine had named the Allen County Public Library a four-star library.

“It’s nice to say that every year they’ve done this, we’ve been ranked,” he said. “I’m a little bit skeptical of this stuff, but nonetheless I’m proud that we’re on the list.”