Clutterbuck’s Idea to Take Away Special Skills Pay

Council Member Anne Clutterbuck originally had introduced a city budget amendment to do away with paying a stipend for the City’s bilingual non-classified employees; however, met with protests from various civil rights organizations, she seems to have changed her tune a tiny bit, according to reporter Mary Benton.

After hearing concerns from the public and administration, Clutterbuck has offered substitute language to her amendment that reads: Eliminate bilingual pay for all non-classified employees unless the employee is in direct contact with the public, demonstrates proficiency and there is a reasonable expectation that the language will be used in the normal course of their job duties.

Frankly, this still is not good enough in my opinion.  I mean, c’mon, how many of us bilingual folks get called in to translate on a moment’s notice–even if it’s not in our job description just because we’re the Mexican in the room?

Perhaps a Human Resource audit is needed to determine exactly who are these employees that would be targeted before a vote is taken by council. In addition, perhaps they can also determine what is meant by proficiency because whether someone can pass a standardized test or not, an attempt at Spanish is still better than the usual way that non-Spanish speakers would communicate with those constituents:  IN LOUDER ENGLISH.

The argument is that this could save over $1,000,000; however, during a time in which the economy continues to hit all employees, taking away pay is that last thing that should be on Council’s agenda, much like furloughs and lay-offs. And there would definitely be questions of fairness if one “type” of employee is targeted over another.

2 responses to “Clutterbuck’s Idea to Take Away Special Skills Pay

  1. mydoscentavos

    I think her idea is a sound one. We have to cut costs where feasible. I am binlingual, and wherever I have worked, I’ve been called into service to translate on occasion. I never thought I should be paid extra for doing so, I always considered it as part of my job. I added value to the company. If private companies want to hire bilingual workers and pay them extra, thats their choice. The city is working with tax payers money, and as such, should cut costs where needed, without impacting service to its customers. For those customers who cant speak english, bring an interpreter with you. Dont have an interpreter? Learn English. My grandmother lived her life never learning the english language, and it pained me to see her struggle without it.

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