09/03/13 — City eyes workers' salaries

View Archive

City eyes workers' salaries

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on September 3, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council is conducting a study to ensure city employees are being paid salaries commensurate with other cities in the region.

Council members listened to the results of a pay and classification study Friday. The members recessed their Aug. 19 gathering and resumed the meeting Friday to hear a presentation by Phil Robertson with The Mercer Group, which completed the study.

The review was done to gather information on the levels of pay and job descriptions of similar organizations to the city. Seventeen municipalities were involved in the study, including Greenville, New Bern, Smithfield, Selma and Raleigh.

The study's final report suggested a 2 percent raise for all employees as well as ensuring that all employees at least meet the minimum salary levels established by placing the Goldsboro pay levels in the 50th percentile among the other municipalities.

If an employee being brought up to the minimum exceeded the recommended 2 percent raise, then the employee would not get an additional increase.

The council requested more information from Robertson to be included in the report before it would vote to accept the study and to decide whether to follow its recommendations.

According to the study, bringing salaries to the recommended level would cost the city about $528,000.

Councilman William Goodman said he wondered if employees who had not been with the city very long would be making comparable money to long-term employees.

City Manager Scott Stevens said they could but noted that employees who had merit money tacked onto their salary from before, when the merit program was still in place, would still be paid more.

"I'd love to the see the cost difference to move employees up to the mid-point for someone who has been in their position for 15 years," Goodman said.

Stevens told Goodman that the cost to do that would be about $1.8 million.

Goodman said he would like to see that done.

Councilman Gene Aycock disagreed with paying employees for staying in the same job for a long time because of the type of work it perpetuates.

"Paying someone for years of service is rewarding someone doing a mediocre job," Aycock said. "In reality, I don't think years of service is what we need to look for."

Councilman Bill Broadaway agreed with Aycock.

"In my first life, we had a lot of what we called professional privates. I don't think that's the way we need to keep going," Broadaway said.

Goodman requested a printout of all 440 city employees and their salaries to compare with the information in the proposed final draft to "make sure every employee gets their fair share."

Councilman Chuck Allen said it is not supposed to be based on the individual employee but the pay scale for the job. However, Goodman was adamant, saying, "That's public record."

Aycock said Goodman could receive the list in electronic form to save paper, but Goodman said he wanted it in hard copy.

"I don't mind running up here to pick it up," Goodman said.

Allen said he would like to see the information on the benefits package offered to employees.

The meeting ended with Aycock saying he was sure the council could have the study settled by the first week in October.