City government employees who are not represented by unions are getting pay raises and cost-of-living adjustments that average 3.4 percent after many went without any increases since 2008.

City government employees who are not represented by unions are getting pay raises and cost-of-living adjustments that average 3.4 percent after many went without any increases since 2008.

The Ashland City Council approved the increases earlier this week.

City department heads have received no cost-of-living adjustments or pay raises since 2008, said Human Resources Director Tina Gray.

The city laid off workers and tightened its belt regarding pay increases after the Great Recession and subsequent economic slowdown.

Some unionized workers have received COLAs during that time. Others agreed to forgo COLA increases, even though they had pre-existing, multi-year contracts that authorized the extra pay.

This fiscal year, city workers in an electrical workers' union will receive a 2.5 percent increase, while employees in a laborers' union will receive a 2 percent increase.

City managers are in the midst of negotiations with three unions that represent police officers, firefighters and clerical/technical workers.

City Administrator Dave Kanner said he will be satisfied if those three unions will agree to increases of 2 percent.

Kanner is receiving an increase of less than 2 percent under the recent increases for non-unionized workers approved by the City Council, according to Gray.

Kanner told council members he didn't feel comfortable taking a larger increase because he has been on the job in Ashland for only five months.

Reach Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.