Acknowledging the tough economy, the Medford City Council voted unanimously Thursday not to give salary increases or cost-of-living adjustments to management-level employees for a second consecutive year.

Acknowledging the tough economy, the Medford City Council voted unanimously Thursday not to give salary increases or cost-of-living adjustments to management-level employees for a second consecutive year.

The wage freeze will extend through the end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2012, unless the council revises its decision.

Several council members said Thursday that they want to reassess managers' salary and benefits this winter after the city makes changes to its health insurance coverage for 2012.

The majority of managers support the wage freeze, because they understand the economic situation, according to the council report.

"I'm one of those affected and I think it's the right thing to do," said Bill Hoke, deputy city manager.

The city is still negotiating with other employee groups to determine if they will receive raises, said Doug Detling, the city's human resources director.

Medford's department heads and management employees received 3 percent salary increases in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Also included in the vote Thursday was a policy change that will allow city officials to pay workers to take on extra responsibilities instead of filling vacant positions.

"We've not done that in the past, but we wanted to at least raise that as a potential way of doing business in tough economic times," Detling said. "Now we have the option."

Reach reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-776-4459 or email hguzik@mailtribune.com.