About half the city's non-management employees will receive a 3.5% pay raise under a contract approved by the City Council.
The contract, approved Tuesday, gives the cost-of-living increase to 23 employees outside the Police Department, including secretaries, maintenance workers, recreation supervisors and clerks. The employment contract and pay raise are retroactive to July 1, when the workers' previous contract expired.
The one-year contract includes a twist: It allows maintenance workers to wear shorts on the job, said City Manager Pamela Gibson. Maintenance workers complained that the city-issued brown polyester pants were too hot to wear during the summer, and the city agreed to allow shorts for workers doing non-hazardous work.
The employment contract covers employees in the La Palma General Employees Assn., which is an optional union that employees may join. Employees in the city's other union, which includes police employees, will begin negotiating a new contract later this year, Gibson said. Their contract expires Dec. 31.
La Palma has 60 full-time employees.