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Published September 18, 2012, 02:35 PM

Grand Forks Library Struggles to Provide Raises to Employees

After struggling with little funds nearly 25 library workers who were making close to minimum wage will see a pay increase. The Grand Forks Library is having to dip into reserve accounts to make the increase.

After struggling with little funds nearly 25 library workers who were making close to minimum wage will see a pay increase. The Grand Forks Library is having to dip into reserve accounts to make the increase.

The Grand Forks City Council did not approve a request for a half a mill tax increase but the library is using more than $40,000 from its reserve accounts to increase wages. Many of the part time employees are making close to minimum wage and this change would bring library aide wages up to a minimum of nine dollars per hour. Although library workers are not considered city employees, library officials are moving forward with a city study's recommendation. Wage studies in the past few years reported that increases of over $300,000 would be needed to increase wages but the most recent study has that number at $111,000 over the next four years.

Library officials are not sure why there was such a change in the amount to bring staff wages up to market level but say it's important those people get compensated for the work they do. Staff at the grand forks public library make at least 20 percent less than other libraries in the region. This recent study would increase pay by 50 cents each year over the next four years.

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