JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Firefighters and non-uniform employees celebrated Tuesday evening during the Jonesboro City Council meeting after council members passed a pay plan that would allow them to receive step raises each year that they work.
The plan mirrors that of the plan passed for the Jonesboro Police Department in September, but has minor adjustments that would make implementing this plan more uniform for everyone.
"We decided to vote on a more consistent way to compensate everyone for the work they do while they're employed," Mayor Harold Perrin said.
With this plan, police, firefighters, and non-uniform employees will be on a similar step raise plan.
"As you hire an employee then they are going to know each year the amount of money they can at least go to on those steps," said Perrin. "So in the future, they know going in."
In the new pay plan, incentives will be suspended for Jonesboro employees, and even though those incentives were extra money, especially for officers continuing education, several agreed that the step raises will make up for that.
"I think getting this pay plan passed is the most critical part at this point and we knew that we would have to give up these incentives to accomplish that," Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said. "That is the end result and that is okay."
Passing these pay plans will cost the city nearly $1.4 million, which will come out of the city's reserves funds the first year this is implemented.
Specifically, the plan for non-uniform employees will cost $653,000 and the plan for firefighters will cost $805,000, city officials have said.
"If, in fact, we have to pull down anything additional than $1.5 or $2 million dollars out of capital improvements, including storm waters, or any city repairs, you could be looking at a possible four-year-period on the reserves to depletion," Perrin said.
Perrin added that city officials will make this plan work, but if those funds do deplete, they will look at better options when budgeting capital improvements for 2017.
The pay plans became effective, retroactive to Oct. 1.
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