SARA employees to receive raises

Published 2:35 am Friday, September 16, 2016


Employees at South Alabama Regional Airport will receive up to a 5 percent raise in the next fiscal year.

Co-Director Jed Blackwell reported to the board on Thursday evening that he and Co-Director Misty Jones had performed evaluations with each employee of the airport.

“Most rated well,” he said.

Blackwell asked the board to give the employees sans himself and Jones a 5 percent cost of living raise.

He reported that in the current fiscal year employees were not given a COLA; that they were given a 3 percent raise in 2015; none in 2014; and a 3 percent in 2013.

“We put in 5 percent last year, but didn’t do it,” he said. “We also budgeted 5 percent this year for everyone except Misty and I.”

Board member Donald Barton said he didn’t like percent raises because it further separates the bottom salaries from the top salaries.

“I would like for us to look into the possibilities of giving step raises,” he said. “I lean to your fuelers. They are working in good weather, bad weather and under the helicopter blades. They are the money makers. I drink coffee out there a lot of mornings and they are Johnny-on-the-spot.”

After looking at the money set aside for the 5 percent raises, it was determined that there was about $28,000 to play with in giving raises.

Board member Scotty Short said he was good with the 5 percent raise.

“I don’t think they’ve had anything in a while,” he said.

Board President Gary Smith said he thought the 5 percent was great.

Ultimately board members agreed to leave the 5 percent increase in the budget, and allow the managers to award raises based on performance.

“It helps with morale,” Barton said. “They are going to tell how much of a raise they got.”

The board met in closed session to conduct performance reviews for Blackwell and Jones.