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Paychecks will grow for 852 Minneapolis city employees after the City Council on Friday approved raises that will cost about $1.5 million.

Politically appointed employees, such as policy aides working for elected officials, are set to get 2.35% raises. So, too, will the "non-represented" employees who aren't covered by a city union. That includes managers in accounting, 311 and 911 operations, among others.

Those receiving raises include 533 city workers in the Minneapolis Professional Employees Association, which includes employees in public works, finance and property services, animal control and other agencies. Their contract, approved by the council Friday, calls for a roughly 7% increase over three years.

Much of the salary increase was accounted for in the 2020 budget. The raises now head to Mayor Jacob Frey for approval.

The city continues to work on contracts with other unions, including ones representing police officers, 911 dispatchers and Convention Center janitors.

The contracts typically outline not only wages but also other benefits and working conditions.

The increases given to employees covered by unions are eventually averaged out and used to calculate future salary bumps for the mayor and council members, under a policy passed by city officials in late 2017.

Vacation policies explored

The city employs 4,111 people. In addition to the salary increases, city officials are also exploring the idea of changing the way vacation time works in the city. Employees now receive separately designated vacation and sick time.

Top city leaders — including Frey, Council President Lisa Bender and Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins — said they want to explore a more flexible paid time off policy for city workers. Changing it would require approval from city unions and the support of older workers, many of whom prefer the existing system, they said.

"I know it's a complicated subject and there's lots of different bargaining units, but I really feel like if we are going to be in the 21st century, we need to try to come up with some kind of process to get that momentum started," Jenkins said at a public hearing in mid-January.

Liz Navratil 612-673-4994