10/11/06 — City of Goldsboro employees now eligible for merit raises

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City of Goldsboro employees now eligible for merit raises

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 11, 2006 1:52 PM

City of Goldsboro employees could see more money -- if their performance is above and beyond the call of duty, City Council members decided at their meeting Tuesday.

Council approved a merit pay system at their mini-retreat, a move that can earn city staff as much as a 3 percent raise annually for outstanding performance.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he hopes and expects the new system will help the city do two things -- recruit and retain extraordinary employees.

"Merit says, let's actually hire someone who is going to perform at a high level," he said. "The idea is that a merit system will help you keep those folks who might otherwise have gone to Greenville or wherever."

Under the new system, all city employees will be evaluated by their supervisor at the end of the calendar year. Based on their ranking across several categories, their salary can increase from 1 to 3 percent.

Councilman Chuck Allen said he likes the idea of rewarding staff for exemplary work -- and the idea of an annual review of their performance.

"To me, every year, every employee ought to be evaluated," he said. "And if that employee deserves a raise that year, he ought to get it."

Employees will be asked to come into their evaluation prepared to discuss their year's accomplishments. The supervisor, also, will prepare, to ensure consistency, officials said.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said annual evaluations give department heads a better opportunity to define excellent performance.

"An advantage to doing the evaluations annually is that you have an opportunity to look at everyone at one time," she said. "As a supervisor, if you're evaluating all staff at one time ... hopefully, there will be more consistency."

During the evaluation, staff members will be given a rating of 1 to 5 in a series of categories. To earn a salary increase, employees must rank 3.5 or higher in total job performance and cannot fall below a 3 in any category.

If an employee rates between 3.5 and 3.99, he or she will get a 1 percent salary increase the next year. Those who fall between 4 and 4.49 will get a 2 percent raise. The highest increase is 3 percent, and will be awarded to those who rank 4.5 or higher.

Councilman Charles Williams said he thinks the system will help improve the quality of service offered by the city and will show staff that their hard work is appreciated.

"If a person's work merits a certain pay, they should get it," he said. "Let's give it to them."

The money to pay for the salary increases will be budgeted annually, officials said. Those who earn raises during this year's evaluations, will be paid from a $175,000 fund appropriated for merit bonuses in the city's 2006-07 fiscal year budget.

"I think we're heading in the right direction," Mayor Al King said. "This is going to be a great thing for this city's employees and its citizens."