For the past two years, the city of Charlottesville has been working on an update of the city’s pay scale for non-union employees as an effort to modernize and stay competitive with other localities.
“For too long our employees have been in what I would consider to be a free-fall environment where the best battle is how they get an extra pay increase and that is not the appropriate way to do this work, and it’s not always based on merit,” said City Manager Sam Sanders.
Council heard a presentation on the policy from Mary Ann Hardie, the city’s director of human resources. (view the presentation)
“The new salary structure includes approximately 25 pay grades,” Hardie said. “There’s a seven percent differential between each of the individual pay grades themselves so it is consistent.”
City Councilor Brian Pinkston welcomed the new compensation and classification schedule.
“When I came on board Council, there was just a lot of things like this,” Pinkston said. “Having an employee handbook. Having clear standards of behavior and having a [classification and compensation] study. I see these are the kinds of things that are really going to build the city for the future and make us a place where people want to work.”
However the new ranges will not come cheaply.
“This is going to be very expensive,” Sanders said. “This is part of the gut check that we’ve had to have at the table at looking at far behind we have fallen and trying to right by the employees.”
Sanders provided a rough cost of at least additional $10 million a year in compensation to implement the study. However, he said the work is ongoing and more needs to be done before the new schedule goes into effect. As an example of the kind of adjustment that would be required, Sanders said he would want to increase the salary for any employee currently making below the minimum for their pay grade.
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