The Jonesboro City Council unanimously approved amending the 2016 budget to add salary increases for city employees Tuesday.
In total, the plan adds $1,079,375 to the city's employee pay plan.
According to that salary plan, every full time employee will get a $1,000 raise. Depending on how long they've been with the city, they will also receive money for longevity and to combat compression pay.
Jonesboro Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Allen spoke before the council regarding the pay plan Tuesday.
Allen explained that the pay plan in place now was adopted in 2009.
"When that plan was established, the structure was set up so there's a minimum, mid-point and maximum for each pay grade that we have in the city," Allen said. "Employees came to the mayor with concerns regarding competitive market salaries and where we were in relation to the market."
Concerns were also brought up regarding compression pay.
"As COLA increases have been given over the past eight years, the minimum salary was raised so that new hires were earning the same as people that were in the position from five to eight years," Allen said.
Allen was part of the committee that looked into salary and longevity pay issues for city employees.
Councilman Darrell Dover, who served as chairperson for that committee, told the council Tuesday that this is simply the start.
"This is something that will be addressed each year," Dover said. "We certainly feel like our employees deserve the best salaries we can afford."
Dewayne Rogers, who also served on the committee, spoke before the council on the matter as well.
"I still think, mayor, that we need to address the issue of the police department. I still think they're being underpaid," Rogers said. "I know we had a dollar amount we tried to work with and we can't do it all in one year but I think in the future, at least start for next year, we need to address the pay plan for the police department."
In late 2014, multiple Jonesboro police officers spoke before the council regarding their frustrations with their pay. Months later, the committee that looked into salary and longevity was formed.
Though the committee has presented their plans for salary increases, they must still present the council with a plan for incentive pay.
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