City approves new pay structureThe City Council voted yes at its meeting Tuesday night to change how the city’s pay scale works, from one geared toward union-contract negotiation to one deemed a “hybrid” of the step- and performance-based pay ranges.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
The City Council voted yes at its meeting Tuesday night to change how the city’s pay scale works, from one geared toward union-contract negotiation to one deemed a “hybrid” of the step- and performance-based pay ranges.
The city’s contracts with its three groups of unionized employees expire Dec. 31. The new system takes effect Jan 1, 2013, with full implementation in 2014, overseen by City Administrator Scott Simpson and Human Resources Director Karen Bergstrom.
Simpson said in a memo that Act 10 means only police may still bargain over working conditions, hours and pay. Other unionized employees may only bargain over “base wages.”
The council members heard a presentation from Charlie Carlson of Carlson Dettmann Consulting, whose firm has been studying the city’s classification and compensation strategy during 2012.
He said, “Organizations from across the state are moving toward a uniform pay plan.”
Carlson and Simpson said the last study was conducted in 2000, and they should be done every 10-15 years.
They said the changes create one, consistent pay system; balance the city’s “internal and external (pay) equity;” and help manage performance.
People start with steps one through four then move to a merit-based pay range.
The new system includes annual performance reviews to see if employees met expectations, and the possibility of increases and bonuses.
The study entailed employees completing questionnaires and job descriptions.
The consultants compared River Falls to Hudson, Marshfield, Menomonie, New Richmond, Oconomowoc and Whitewater, as well as Cottage Grove, Hastings, Oakdale, Red Wing, Rosemount and Stillwater, Minn.
Carlson’s firm pulled data for the region from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state and the Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management. It then classified 97 employees into 18-grade levels, each with a minimum and maximum hourly rate.
The pay-system change classifies 43 employees into the merit scale, seven into the step scale and 15 employees to above their maximum pay range. Six will get a raise to meet the minimum pay range, and 15 positions will be negotiated with the police union. Eleven positions are called “market adjusted” -- checked for grade viability every two years.
Carlson and Simpson said meetings with city employees begin Wednesday, Nov. 14, when each person would learn more about the new system, data and their grade level. The documents say employees can appeal their “individual position results” and get a final decision in early February.
Simpson said the new pay scale would affect the 2013 budget by $64,000. He said in future years, the council would approve the amount to be put into each annual budget for step and merit-pay increases.
Read more details about the grades and ranges in the Nov. 15 print edition of the River Falls Journal.