The Port of Tacoma is proposing it pay all of its regular full-time workers a $1,000 one-time lump sum this year instead of a base pay increase.
The one-time payment, to be considered by port commissioners at their noon meeting today, will cost the port some $224,000. It replaces raises that would have upped workers’ base pay this year and in subsequent years.
The port’s unrepresented workers last year received a 2.6 percent pay increase. In 2009, when the economy began its recession free fall, port workers got no raise. In 2008, port employees received a 6.21 percent increase.
The port has seen its business volume fall steeply over the last two years. That business began a gradual revival last fall. The $1,000 lump sum payment for all workers would be a reward for the port’s meeting its target of 15 percent return on revenues last year.
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The port laid off workers when the recession began. Its finances have stabilized in the last year albeit at a lower level than in the heady days before the recession.
If the commission approves the $1,000 payment, it won’t necessarily be the only additional compensation port workers will receive this year. The port has hired consultants to study its pay levels compared with other employers. That study, still in progress, could recommend pay increases for some port employees if they were below industry norms.
The port further may devise a plan that may reward individual workers for stellar work above and beyond the basic requirements of their jobs, port sources said.