City of Columbus employee pay study still underway

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A pay study for Columbus city employees is still in the works after starting early this year. It’s on the table again at City Council Tuesday morning.

Pay compression and the fact that a study hasn’t been done since 2006 is what sparked the initiative. Times are changing, and Mayor Skip Henderson said he hopes this study will equal out pay grades for long-time employees.

Just last Tuesday at Columbus City Council was a packed room in the council chambers as dozens of city employees came out to voice opinions on the pay study. Happening this upcoming Tuesday: another reading or discussion after hearing concerns.

“We wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a politically devised plan.. a solid roadmap for going forward,” Mayor Henderson said. “What we hope for is that we have a fair and equitable plan that takes into account some of the jobs and industries that are so hard to fill.”

Costing taxpayers roughly 350 thousand dollars, roughly 10-million dollars is set aside for implementation.

Through the first reading and voted in, Henderson explained that’s not the end of this. The consultants are under contract for a year, and the process continues.

“So there are individuals, and they’re almost certainly will be at least one a in an employment base with 2,600 people that still feel like there’s a mistake or they weren’t slotted quite correctly or the job description didn’t adequately describe what they do,” Henderson said. “They still have the opportunity to go through their department head and HR and consultants themselves in order to make sure that everybody has a chance to address any inequities they think exist.”

One of those employees who explained he has experienced pay compression: Lt. Ralph Dowe with the Columbus police Department and Fraternal Order of Police President, Columbus chapter.

“I have concerns about how we’re being plugged into those pay ranges,” Lt. Dowe expressed. “I don’t think compression overall is being addressed. I think the city is limiting that based on the money they’re willing to spend on this pay study. Some positions are shown to be certain percentages behind market.”

Again, another reading on this pay study will be presented at city council tomorrow. We’ll have a crew there to bring you its latest findings.