hot-topic rightWith a contingent of town employees looking on and only one, brief objection raised, the Red Bank Borough Council approved an annualized three-percent salary increase for most of its non-unionized workers Tuesday night.

Even Kim Senkeleski, a Republican who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the governing body this year, expressed no misgivings about the size of the boost.

“Everyone’s entitled to a raise,” she said.

Only Bill Poku, of Bank Street, objected to the increase, and he did so parenthetically, in remarks that were otherwise focused on the reliability of property tax assessments.

“This is for work that was done by real diligent, hardworking employees,” Mayor Pasquale Menna said, shortly before the unanimous approval from the all-Democrat council minus two absent members. “We’re talking about people who don’t put in for overtime. If they have to put in extra hours or come in on weekends, they do it.”

Borough officials continued to characterize the increase as a 1.5-percent raise, because it is only retroactive by six months, whereas in the past raises have been applied back to the date of the prior increase.

Here’s the list of who’s getting what: 2009-54-salary-ordinance

The council also approved a six-month continuation of the four-day workweek for most town employees. The original measure was implemented in June as a means of cutting down on energy costs at borough hall. So far, the program appears to be on track to save Red Bank about $15,000 in utility costs, Menna said.

Councilman Art Murphy endorsed the extension. “I’m in favor of taking it through the winter to see how much we save” over the course of a full year, he said.

Councilwoman Sharon Lee asked that there also be “a satisfaction survey of the employees” to find out how they like the shortened workweek, in which full-time employees work their requisite 35 hours between Monday and Thursday and take Fridays off.