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Centralia Parks faces wage challenges, schedules triathlon

Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Triathlons and minimum wage were among items discussed during the January 22 meeting of the

Upgrades are planned for the Centraila Recreation Center's exercise equipment.

Membership prices may rise at the Centralia Recreation Center

Centralia Park Board.

The board has selected Saturday, June 22 as the day of the park-sponsored triathlon, to be  held at the main city park.

“We’re on,” Erle Bennett parks director said, “more details to follow.”

Regarding park employee wages, Bennett said, after at least three board discussions on the subject, that the impact will be felt. “By the time it is all done, we probably won’t  have a wage scale,” Bennett said. “People will be paid a set wage and that will likely be it. The only increases or changes will be cost-of-living increases.”

Last year the Parks Department paid $344,156.79 in wages and benefits.

Park Board President Mike Kinkead said it was a necessary move. “Formerly we had a wage grid,” he said. “Wage increases were based on increases in experience and or responsibility. We, the Park Department, do not have to pay minimum wage, but the businesses and people we compete against for labor do… The whole minimum wage situation blows our former pay grid out of the water.”

For the complete article, please see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.