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FIRST ON 3: CFPUA tables vote on holiday bonuses for employees

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: CFPUA tables vote on holiday bonuses for employees
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Recent decisions by Wilmington City Council and the Brunswick County School Board to hand out employee bonuses have upset many tax payers. The question of pay hikes during the down economy was up for debate again this morning; this time by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

"Employees are the key to success for any organization, but certainly for the success of the authority," CFPUA CEO Matt Jordan said.

The CFPUA considered rewarding its employees with some extra cash. During a board meeting Wednesday, board members decided to table the decision, and wait for results from a class and compensation study that should be completed by the end of January.

"We've reduced positions. We have employees that have taken on increased responsibility, and that's reflected in our efficiency," Jordan said. "Every few years we want to make sure we have the proper balance, and that's what that is all about."

But with consistent rate increases and issues since the authority formed in 2008, some customers may see the bonuses as inappropriate. Jordan disagrees.

"Even though we did have 13- and 14-percent rate increases, because we've been able to hold down the operating side, those rate increases could have been larger, so they've helped to hold those rate increases down," Jordan said.

Jordan says the board will discuss the proposal after the study is completed and after the start of the budget process in February.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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just think about it

I am tired of hearing things about CFPUA and how bad they are. I would like to bring your attention to EVERY idem you buy. i.e food,gas,clothes,house hold idems. All of it has doubled or tripled in price in the last 10 years and I haven't yet come across one person calling them complaining. We live in a very greedy and complacent country. It has always been from the beginning of time that there is a man on the throne and everyone else gets shafted. so to the point... Next time you decide to sit on your toilet and push out your next complaint remember who takes care of that problem and supplies you with clean water. The water and sewer that CFPUA took over was neglected for many years by the city and county. They have now had to fix this problem so that we can continue to have good sewer and water systems. I am not taking complete blame of of CFPUA. They average bill for customers is $175 bimonthly and this does not include the big accounts. CFPUA has 67000 water taps and on the low side this means that make $70,350,000 and the average REAL worker at CFPUA makes less than $33,000/yr and I know of many that take home less than $650 biweekly. I don't know about you but that doesn't seem fair that the people cleaning up our sewers and providing us with water make so little of money. The only people at CFPUA making money are the top 30 employee's and the POOR board members and Who even knows if they work at all. I say if the morale is down then they aren't going to do a good job. Bringing up at bonus before christmas and then not giving them one, when all other county and city employee's got one is just Wrong!!!! As far as this reclassification study.. They are just finding another reason not to give the people raises and keep the money for them selves. I say if you don't like it get rid of Matt Jordan and ALL the board members and most of the top 30 that don't do anything anyway..Pay the people that do all the work. What happened to they saying "take care of your employee's and they will take care of you" They pay for all employee's is public info look it up and tell me that the first 30 deserve what they make.

Being married to a current

Being married to a current CFPUA employee and previous City of Wilm employee (been there well over a decade) gives me a bit of a perspective about what's going and the failure on the part of CFPUA executives to recognize that the remaining employees are having to do two or more jobs beyond their duties because a lot of essential positions have gone unfilled.

I'm not talking about the customer service or repair/maintenance. I'm talking about the operations people, the actual ladies and gents who make, treat or test your wastewater and water to make sure you don't die from explosive diarrhea everytime you brush your teeth.

These are people who cannot be easily replaced, as some posters would have you think. These are people with college degrees AND licenses, specialized coursework and specialized training, who do what they do without any recognition whatsoever from the upper management at CFPUA.

Nevermind a bonus... not even a luncheon or gift card or a simple "thank you." Instead, the upper management and the CEO, who has gotten his bonus ...ahem... already contractually obligated to raise... and who gets paid handsomely, cannot even have the cojones to settle this matter once and for all, once again postponing the hot potato to a later time after yet another study which cost money that could have been certainly given to the employees, even if as a $5 gift certificate at McDonalds.

My spouse is looking at other options away from this mess. My spouse has already been told about consolidating positions underneath, so my spouse will have to do those jobs too, on top of everything else, just as benefits are shrinking, pay remains the same and the upper echelons of the organization think more about their pocketbooks than the people they supposedly lead, all while the infrastructure crumbles and people are disgruntled.

They don't deserve squat!!

They don't deserve squat!! They are the rudest people ever! Pay your bill, they're rude~ Call about a water leak, they're rude and don't know what's going on! And yes they can be replaced, EVERYONE is replaceable!! They need a nice HUGE turn over! Where's the customer service skills? Obviously it's NOT a requirement for them when they are serving the public. We're at their mercy and I can't stand it. and the moron that made the comment about NHC getting bonuses, it was NOT a bonus nor a cost of living adjustment, it was MERIT, not everyone received one. I have never heard ONE good thing come out of CFPUA!!

With the tone of your

With the tone of your comments above, I can only imagine that you were quite rude to the staff at CFPUA yourself. As far as "morons", I am a county employee and did receive a merit, along with a "bonus".

many public mad? really?

You know my husband has worked for cfpu for over 4 yrs. In these four years he has not gotten the first cost of living raise and everything continues to go up. And yes we pay our water bill just like everyone else. Nhc got bonuses, raises and other surronding counties but not the evil cfpua. I guess my husband will be looking for another job just like others @ cfpua bc there is no reason

fyi

Teachers got raise two years ago but maint employees and technology have not got a cost of living in five years so we are the underdogs because nhc isa bunch of crooks. Ps boo hoo

Then speed up your exit!

They are in line, 100 deep waiting to take the jobs you whine about! In this economy, anyone is lucky to have a job. Bonus? HA! Raise? HA! Public Sector, Private Sector...all the same, trying to find ways to cut costs and expenses.

Until we can get the "Annointed One" out of the White House, turn this economy around and start putting a little money BACK into the American peoples pockets, nobody is going anywhere except further down. I don't care what the media tries to convince you of, this economic downturn is not over by a long shot!

So...if you don't like your job and are fed up due to the lack of a bonus or a raise, then figure out another way to pay your mortgage, car payment, insurance, taxes, feed your kids, etc. and let someone in that will appreciate a paycheck and take some pride in their work!

Remember if you leave......

you may be missed, but you can always be replaced.

Where/when did everything go so wrong?

So, CFPUA employees moral is in the sewer. They feel underpaid and unappreciated. Customers feel overcharged and lack confidence in the authority.

Where or when did things get so bad? Or is this just a case of the peasants turning on each other in a bad economy.

this is definitley a case of the peasants turning on each other

This is definitely a case of the peasants turning on each other in bad times. While we argue about whether or not our fellow citizens get a marginal increase the "guys at the top" continue along their merry way and get away with saying "gee, I have no idea where the $1.2 billion dollars went" before Congress with a straight face and they expect to get away with it. They do get away with criminal thievery at the top every day because we are arguing over crap like this. Why attack the grunts at the bottom of the totem pole when they have a bone thrown their way? If you got a raise/found a great high paying job/found any job you certainly would not appreciate anyone else making such nasty comments and displaying such petty jealousy at every turn, would you?

The Authority is suffering from a criminal lack of moral leadership/cronyism and completely ineffective and incompetent public relations.

Since the employees of CFPUA

Since the employees of CFPUA are also the "customers" of CFPUA, I would say they get it coming and going, wouldn't you?

The employees are paying the

The employees are paying the same rates as you!

ummmm

I don't think anyone has claimed employees pay a different rate. Am I missing something? Are you trying to say that since they pay water/sewer bills too that they see no benefit from rate increases?

I would not care about a rate increase either if that increase was funding my pay raise.

You seemed to have missed

You seemed to have missed the point of all of this, there is no pay increase!

did you read the article above all these comments?

"The CFPUA considered rewarding its employees with some extra cash. During a board meeting Wednesday, board members decided to table the decision, and wait for results from a class and compensation study that should be completed by the end of January."

There may be or maybe not. No decision was made, they tabled the decision until January. If it was voted down that would be a different story. Usually these studies show that employees are underpaid and it gives the decision makers something they can point to when the public complains. Do you understand, or are you just stomping your feet like a child saying, "I'm never going to get a raise"?

Maybe

Maybe so...but we're getting a much smaller salary.

Oh...about three years ago

...that's when they started getting bad. CFPUA employees have been beat on by everybody in this town pretty much as long as they've been in existence. And, most of the blame lies with the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County. Look at it like this...if they had been doing their job, would the CFPUA ever been created? No. It is when the handwriting was on the wall...written by NCDENR and EPA...get your %^@* together, or we'll run it for you, that COW and NHC decided they no longer wanted to be in that business.

Those governments knew where the rates were going...but now, conveniently, it's not their problem. So...the employees have been placed in a position, not of their own making. But the puppet masters (the Authority Board) are the new bosses...same as the old bosses.

The rates were going up WHOEVER was running it. That's what 100 years of neglect will do for you.

three years....

You nailed it.

As a former resident of WIlm and CPFUA Customer

It amazes me is that now living in Leland we dont pay for Trash service like CFPUA and we dont have the water issues and believe me H2GO isnt exactly dealing with a new system either here in the county.. Just amazes me how Brunswick can provide the same services (sans the thugs in the Leland PD) for less money in a much larger service area then NHC/Wilm.. To me it reeks as usual of financial mismanagemnt of the highest order. Reality is CFPUA needs to fix their system before they go handing out extra money when people keep getting bent over by ever increasing rates. I lived in the city one year and my bills did nothing but go up, if an electric company did what CFPUA did they woulda been slapped down by the state for the repeated rate increases. To me since CFPUA is a PUBLIC UTLITY the individuals allowing the repeated rate increases need to demand accountability. BTW to those workers who are whining about their pay I guarantee your making more then you would in other places so quit your complaining because Im sure they could find somebody to replace ya in a heartbeat for 1/3 less then your making now.

think about what you are saying

you apparently have no Idea what CFPUA employees take home and what they put up with. Do I think the rates are to high YES but I also think the employees are under paid. Progress energy pays there employee's thousands of dollars more a year than CFPUA and the hazards are much less. No one seems to be complaining about their pay or the rates. CFPUA employee's are not the ones to blame it is the board members and Matt jordan that are. As far as a 1/3 of what they are making would be like taking home $250 biweekly. Im not sure what you make but even $750 biweekly just barely beats out unemployment which is why no one that is making unemployment is looking for a job.

Apples and oranges

First, Progress Energy has to present their case for a rate hike (or reduction) to the NC Public Utilities Commission before it can be approved and enacted. Because CFPUA was structured in such a devious and self-serving manner by crooked politicians, it is under no such requirement...and have you EVER seen them pass a rate reduction, as Progress has? HA!

Second, what Progress Energy pays their employees is a matter for Progress Energy's board of directors and ahareholders. It is a publicly owned corporation with multiple income streams and thus there is no method to directly correlate employee salaries and electricity rates. CFPUA has one source of income and any bonus has to be paid from that single income stream.

All that notwithstanding, I understand the debilitating effect of long-term wage stagnation and lack of any material reward for going above and beyond. Perhaps CFPUA could find money to provide a bonus and raise by restricting the number of management personnel to a number that doesn't require the use of scientific notation, reducing the number of brand-new vehicles that appear seemingly daily, and adopting a rate structure that is based on an account's true water consumption, rather than some lofty, Socialist ideal of wealth redistribution through bulk rates.

Also, I hope that you understand "guilt by association" is a natural law of the universe. Anyone associated with CFPUA is immediately branded as "the enemy" because of the number of people who despise CFPUA, so there will naturally be a lot of opposition to any bonus. And while I realize that it's no consolation to you, the employees at Progress may soon see what was a great company and rewarding career evaporate in front of them when the Vandals from Charlotte arrive and gut the company.

Common...once again...

you're using facts and a working knowledge of how utility rates are set to respond to an individual who wrote an emotional response without the benefit of factual knowledge.

Nice response!

Holiday Bonus

As a state employee, not receiving any pay increases or bonuses for the past 4 years and seeing my water rates increase; I find it unsettling that yet another government agency is considering bonuses.

I hate when state employees

I hate when state employees complain about no increases. I worked for the state for 17 years.I always told my co workers that if you hate the pay so much put your resume out there and see what you are worth. I told my new Director in 2003 that I was looking for a new job and did not complain about the pay. I have now owned my own business for several years and took a chance. Stop whining and do something about your situation.

State Employees have always

State Employees have always gotten Longevity for employees who have been there over a period of time and it can be over 4.5% of their salary depending on how long they have worked for the State. The County, City, nor the Authority, has no such "bonus" system in place.

Clarificatioin

CFPUA is not a government agency. It's not part of the city of Wilmington or New Hanover County, although it does collect water/sewer/trash fees for both agencies.

Raises

Are you against raises all together, or just against them until state employees get a raise too?

I'm a government employee too and just as you or I can rightfully complain about others getting a raise and us not, just remember there are many out of work who would love to have a state job even if it meant their pay-rate would be frozen for several years.

Don't worry it's an election

Don't worry it's an election year. We know as State employees that this is when we'll get a tiny one.

Bonus

Its not a "holiday bonus" since it will be months before they make the decision. Now what if this "compensation study" states that employees at CFPUA are being underpaid? Are they going to then bring them up to the standard that the study suggests? How much is this "compensation study" costing CFPUA versus a "holiday bonus" for the employees?

just what HOLIDAY are they

just what HOLIDAY are they getting a bonus for??? it is a CHRISTMAS bonus. do you see them getting one for the other days like JULY 4th,Labor Day or Presidents day??? no. so call it what it is . a CHRISTMAS bonus, if they even get a bonus.