Latest updates on Columbus pay study

Financial consultant reviewing appeals from city employees
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:25 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Efforts continue to increase the pay of Columbus city workers. We now have the latest details on the Columbus pay plan study. The assessment was launched to determine how employees are paid across the board.

Over the summer, recommendations were made to implement pay raises. Tonight the Columbus City Council reviewed those recommendations once again.

The plan is still being reviewed. It has not been passed yet.

Earlier this month, employees were allowed to appeal any recommendations given to them by the financial consultant. Right now, the city’s human resource director says the consultant is currently reviewing hundreds of appeals he’s received.

Industries across the nation continue to struggle with hiring and retaining workers. Many have left long-time positions in hopes of better pay. With that in mind, the city of Columbus launched a pay plan study in hopes of understanding the causes of vacancies across Columbus.

Over the summer, pay raises were recommended by a financial consultant with Everygreen Solutions.

Since then, the consultant has been reviewing nearly 500 appeals sent from employees.

“The appeals are requesting corrections. They’re requesting corrections and new recommendations,” said Reather Hollowell, Director of Human Resources.

Hollowell said some employees have requested clarification on why they received certain pay recommendations.

“You see an employee that’s requesting a change in the class parody methodology. We’ve talked about that. This employee is saying, ‘hey I don’t like the methodology that you all used,” said Hollowell.

The head of METRA’s transit system supports the pay study.

“We are hopeful that the pay study passes and what is being recommended for CDL drivers, bus operators -- drivers in the city -- is the starting pay of $21 an hour,” said Rosa Evans, Director of METRA.

She says they currently have 22 openings for CDL bus operators, with 50 currently on the road. Without the pay raises, she says staff continuously leave left and right, ditching a job only paying $16 an hour.

“It’s very difficult to compete with other companies that are paying $20 and $21 an hour because we will have people who are trained, and they will leave to go to another company that’s paying higher pay,” said Evans.

Reather Hollowell says she believes the financial consultant should be done reviewing those appeals and sending written responses by the middle of October.