Jonesboro Finance Committee approves pay proposals

Jonesboro Finance Committee approves pay proposals

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Just a week after Jonesboro council members approved a pay raise for police officers, the council's finance committee heard two proposals Tuesday afternoon involving firefighters and non-uniformed employees in the city.

After some discussion, the committee approved the proposals setting up a full vote by the council on Oct. 4, Jonesboro Communications Director Bill Campbell said.

According to the proposals, the city's salary schedule, created in Jan. 2009, was amended to include new language involving base pay, what an employee can make and so-called pay step adjustments.

Under the plan, a base, salary range and pay step adjustment, as available, will be established each year and may carry different allocations from year to year. An employee, under the plan, can reach the midpoint of the pay scale after working 10 years and will reach the maximum after 20 years.

In the fire department plan, a firefighter can start at $34,500, make $36,200 after the first year and make $51,600 after 20 years with the department..

The proposals also empower the city Human Resources department to make certain decisions.

"With the institution of this pay plan, Human Resources may evaluate employee pay grades to ensure all employees are in the proper pay range. If changes are recommended, the Department Head and Mayor will be consulted," the proposal notes.

As for pay compression, the issue will be reviewed on a yearly basis after city human service officials, the city's compensation committee and an outside firm review the figures.

The city's longevity pay plan and incentive pay plan will be suspended pending the adoption of the pay plans, with one longevity pay plan payment to be made in Dec. 2016 for the 2016 year.

As for new hires and promotions, the proposals provide clear language.

"(On New Hires), No employee will be hired below the minimum of the salary range for the classification. Department supervisors will have the discretion to request a new hire salary grade step placement up to halfway between minimum and mid-point of the salary range of the grade, based upon the employee's qualifications with approval of the Human Resources Director and Mayor," the proposal notes. "Any salary recommendation in excess of this will require the approval of the Mayor and City Council prior to the salary offer."

"(On promotions), When moving to a position with a new job description and higher salary range, the promotional increase will be the greatest of five percent of base pay or the minimum of the new position salary range. Uniform employees moving between ranks for a promotion, with a new job description, will receive the greatest of $5,000 of base pay or the minimum of the new position salary range."

However, Campbell said the fire department proposal is more complex due to the step plan wording.  

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