Casper City Council on Tuesday decided to move forward with the final phase of the Graves Plan that began implementation last year.

The main topic of discussion had to do with pay freezes that had been put in place for city employees, like police officers, since last year due to budget cuts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Council agreed to move forward with what the city mangers office suggested, namely a pay increase for sworn duty police officers and others who have their pay frozen starting on Jan. 1.

It was also agreed that in May council would revisit the issue to see if other city employees, namely those who have maxed out the pay range for their position, will be able to get a pay increase as well based on the funds available in the city's general fund.

While there was some discussion about giving all city employees some form of increased compensation to make up for the pay freezes, council decided against that due to not knowing if they'll have the funds necessary to support that kind of increase.

Pay increases are all dependent on the city's budget and will evaluated each year, while members of Casper's Local 904 Firefighter union aren't being included in the Graves plan.

The first two phases of the study were implemented in July of 2020 and 2021, with the first phase increasing vacation accrual for full-time employees.

The second phase changed to a new pay scale for police and general employees, increased 18 employees salaries, and increased employer contributions to the Wyoming Retirement System by 1% for police employees.

Based on a memo to Casper city manager Carter Napier, and what council agreed to at Tuesday's work session, the cost for the pay increases will be $260,028 to the general fund for fiscal year 2022.

In May council discussed the results of the Graves study and how they would proceed moving forward.

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