Paul Walden, Addison City Council, Post (Facebook): My Thoughts
December 18, 2017
On December 15, the Addison City Council took a major step toward assuring that Town employees are compensated fairly in today’s competitive marketplace.
During budget hearings late this summer, the Council directed staff to prepare a classification, compensation and certification pay study to determine if Town salaries were competitive with our neighboring cities. The continuing loss of police and fire personnel to other cities, in particular, prompted the need for the study.
Public Sector Personnel Consultants reviewed job descriptions to better compare job titles and classifications, conducted a salary survey, suggested pay plan updates along with cost projections, and suggested implementation strategies. A quick overview of their findings indicate that:
Addison firefighters were 10% below current market, police officers were 7% below market, and more than half of the Town’s civilian employees were 5% below the market with 30 specific job titles more than 10% below market averages.
These findings do not match the Town’s compensation philosophy of paying employees better than the average of comparison cities. The compensation philosophy also promises to “annually budget for market and merit adjustments for compensation that are fair and sustainable”.
In order to bring employees pay up competitive levels as quickly as possible, City Manager Wes Pierson asked department heads to search existing budget allocations for options that could be postponed without a serious impact on service levels. That provides $684,000 in funds that will be used for market adjustments to salaries as early as January 2018. The remaining market adjustments will be phased in during 2019 and 2020 while budgeting for a performance based 4% merit increase available each of those years.
Addison employees have long had a reputation of providing “over the top” level of services to Town residents and businesses. In order to keep that service level, I strongly support the new compensation plan for our employees. As candidates for city council appear on your doorstep in the next few months asking for your vote, (I’ll be one of them!) make sure that you understand their employee compensation philosophy before promising your vote.