Council briefed on results of compensation study

A consultant is recommending a series of changes to the way Charlottesville arranges and pays for city jobs, but has concluded that the pay scales are generally attractive to potential employees who want a job in the public sector. 

“Overall, the city’s salaries are highly competitive,” said Beverly Moultrie, a principal consultant with the firm Gallagher.

However, the city lags behind private sector salaries by about 5.6 percent. 

Last year, Charlottesville hired the firm Gallagher to look at 225 job titles and 993 employees in Charlottesville government. 

The primary objective of the study was basically to evaluate your jobs to determine the relative worth and internal equity for those jobs, but also to determine the hierarchical order of the jobs to ensure that all of the jobs were being represented appropriately,” Moultrie said. (view the presentation)

The study found that many job titles and descriptions are out of date. 

Another outcome was an analysis of current pay ranges against what similar jobs pay across the region. 

“There’s a perception that the range minimums are too low, a perception that the current base salaries were also too low, and also a perception that pay compression issues existed,” Moultrie said. 

Pay compression is when people who have been in a job longer than recent hirees are paid less. 

A slide from the presentation on the compensation study, which was reported out during the City Manager’s report and was not otherwise on the agenda (Credit: Gallagher)

The study recommends the minimum annual salary should be $31,200 based on  minimum hourly wage of $15 an hour. Starting pay for transit operators is at $21 an hour, or $43,680 a year. (see story)

The study also comes with costs to implement a new pay structure. The cost to bring 202 employees up to the minimum will be $665,752. The cost to bring 666 employees to the midpoint of their salary range would be nearly $7.5 million. 

Staff has not yet made a recommendation on how to proceed but that will come back before Council in the near future. 

“The work that needs to be done is to look at where each employee falls on this new pay scale,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers said. “Some people will be competitive and at the scale. Some will be above the scale and we have to decide how to make the appropriate adjustment.” 

Rogers did not have a date for when that will come back to Council, but reminded Council that the proposed budget for FY24 has a cost of living increase of six percent. That increase is not factored into the compensation study.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 4, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

One comment

  • I find it to believe we have to spend this much money to outside consultants to arrive at a conclusion that any COMPETENT City manager/ personnel couldn’t figure out. Consultants are hired by government employees to take the heat off them (employees) for decisions that they make, what a waste!


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