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SAULT STE. MARIE—The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors voted unanimously Sept. 22 to extend the tribal organization’s team members’ $3 per hour pay raise through the end of 2021 while the board studies the results of a compensation study.

Sault Tribe Executive Director Christine MacPherson said, “I am very thankful the tribal board authorized the continuation of this enhancement to team members’ pay until the tribal board has a chance to review and implement the compensation study that has been worked on for the last two years. This is a very comprehensive study that addresses market, pay compression and longevity.”

In response to wage inflation during the COVID-19 global pandemic and tribally declared emergency, the board voted at its Aug. 3 meeting to provide every team member under the Sault Tribe organization umbrella—including the tribal government, gaming and EDC employees—an increase of $3 per hour from July 4 through Oct. 2 pending a compensation study. On Sept. 22, the board unanimously approved extending the $3 per hour appreciation pay through the year’s end while they continue to review the study.

“Wage adjustments to match market value is a project the tribal Administration has diligently worked on for several years,” Sault Tribe Chairperson Aaron Payment said. “An initial estimate presented a few years ago was cost prohibitive. Before the pandemic, the board voted to hire a firm to do a more comprehensive review. This is nearly complete, then will require board approval. The board voted on Tuesday, however, to authorize extending the $3 an hour increase for all team members who are eligible through Dec. 31 or until the market adjustments are complete.”

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY