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GBRC staff to receive additional raises in 2022
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The Great Bend Recreation Commission board Monday afternoon approved revised additional wage increases for 2022 for all GBRC employees.

The revisions include increases of an average of 10-14% per hour for seasonal and temporary employees, as well as an average of 3-6% wage increase for all other employee classifications. The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2022, and is estimated to cost the commission $47,246.

GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said the commission extensively reviewed both local wage data as well statewide comparisons of Kansas Department of Labor statistics on other municipal recreation commissions. This includes recreation commissions that operate through local school districts.

The goal, in particular, Henderson told the board, is to raise wages to a level that allows the Rec Commission to remain competitive with other retailers in the local job market.

For other positions within the rec commission, Henderson said the board reviewed statewide data for other recreation commissions, comparing minimum, middle and maximum compensation levels across the state across different job classifications. 

The goal with these increases, Henderson said, is to work toward raising wages to the middle, or median, statewide standards for rec commissions. Right now, she said, the median wage standards are a goal for the commission to work toward.

“At this time, this is a plan and guidelines that we can work from as a staff to move forward and realign employee classifications to be more appropriate to what the market is (with rec commissions) today,” Henderson said.

The change replaces a previous wage increase passed by the board during the budget process in July.

At that time, the commission initially approved an across-the-board 3% cost-of-living wage adjustment for its full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees for the upcoming budget year, an overall increase of approximately $39,257. The increase at the time was meant to put a particular focus on recruiting and retaining part-time and seasonal employees, who typically make lower hourly wages than full-time staff members.

In recommending approval of the additional increase Monday, Henderson referenced previous comments when the board last discussed the topic at its September budget hearing. Board member Sue Cooper said at the time she felt wage increases should put particular focus on lower paid staff members.

“To make sure we can get some of those (part-time) positions filled, and be able to retain them, that would be great,” Cooper said in September.

Currently, the Rec employs more than 160 people, which includes nine full-time employees as well as part-time and seasonal staff, which includes game officials for athletic programs, instructors for fitness and activity programs and other part-time positions. The Rec also oversees more than 200 volunteer coaches for its sports programs.

Like many employers, Henderson noted at the time, the Rec is currently experiencing vacancies and unfilled positions. They were stretched to the point where administrative staff were stepping in to perform additional duties.

“I think we need to give ourselves the tools to be able to move forward and fund those type of investments in our employees,” she said.

GBRC Board Meeting at a glance

Here’s a quick look at what the GBRC board did on Monday:

• Approved the appointment of Randy Goering to fill an at-large board position, effective Jan. 1, 2022, to fill the position of Bruce Hofeling, whose term expires Dec. 31 and is not eligible for reappointment.

• Heard plans for the annual Santa’s Drive-Through Express, which will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Great Bend Activity Center. The event will be a drive-through event once again this year.

• Approved a software license renewal for the Adobe Creative Cloud for six users, totaling $6,150, and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for Teams for nine users, totaling $1,890.

• Approved a cost-share agreement with the city of Great Bend for resurfacing repairs on the Veterans Park Tennis Courts. The commission’s portion will total $11,000.

• Toured the Great Bend Sports Complex to view progress on the turf installation project. The board also approved a cost-share with the City and Great Bend USD 428 for the installation of bullpens and batting cages at Langrehr Field at the complex. The commission’s portion will total $16,411.13.

• Approved wage increases for all employees effective Jan. 1, 2022, ranging from 3-6% to 10-14% for part-time/seasonal as well as full-time staff. The increase will cost an estimated $47,246 for the upcoming budget year.