Go to main contentsGo to search barGo to main menu
Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 5:08 AM

City eyes higher pay for workers

Compensation for city workers has improved, but levels are still lagging behind other localities in our area, according to a new study.

At the regular meeting of the Taylor City Council June 27, Lori Messer, managing director of Logic Compensation Group, presented a compensation study her agency recently completed, which recommends a $1.2 million scenario adjusting the base pay structure for both general employees and sworn fire and police employees by up to 10 percentage points from the median pay deficit.

“What we are recommending is that an adjustment to the salary structures be made, and it’s kind of a big increase given how far off the market you were,” Messer.

The study surveyed the compensation of 17 comparable communities in our area and found among 64 benchmark jobs, Taylor lagged behind the market, or pays its employees more than 10% less than what the market pays for base pay.

According to one of the recommended scenarios, the city should implement raises of between 3.5 to 10% for the general staff, depending how far from the median market salary they are, costing $781,705, up to 10% more for sworn fire employees, costing $94,192, and up to 10% for sworn police officers, costing $229,575.

“Competition for talent is high,” Messer said. “And in Texas, we have seen a lot of competition in the areas of fire and police … But what we found is when we (also) looked at the general population of non-sworn positions, the city is lagging the market.”

The study also examined pay practices relative to supplemental pay and certifications and found Taylor leading the market in a few areas as well, such as for employees fluent in American Sign Language.

Human Resources Director LaShon Gros said the retention rate in Taylor has improved over the past few years through increased pay and other incentives.

“We have really been focusing on the pay and the culture overall,” Gros said. “We have less people leaving for pay than we did in 2021.”

Members of the council expressed their appreciation for these efforts to bring the city more up to scale with the surrounding areas.

“These are definitely making a difference,” said District 1 Councilman Gerald Anderson. “I know I’m seeing the same people over and over again and not the high turnover rate that I used to see with mostly outside workers, public works guys, so thank you for all the hard work you have been doing to get the data that definitely drives us to want to do better.”

District 4 Councilman Robert Garcia said he agreed.

“Taylor used to be the training ground for our police and fire departments,” he said. “But now we are starting to see them stick around.”

Mayor Dwayne Ariola said the council has been committed to bringing compensation more into alignment for several years.

“We took a hard look at police, at fire and at all of staff, and we have concentrated to get those pay ranges up,” he said. “And while we had to take away from different CIP (Capital Improvement) projects in the future, people were the most important.”

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Wood another higher scenario for increasing the pay scales was unlikely to work, but the 10% cap was something he could work with.

“From a city operational standpoint, my biggest challenge or concern going forward is compensation,” Wood said. “It is probably the single hardest item for us to cover … Compensation, we never know what compensation increases are going to be year to year…But the $1.2 million does seem like something we could do.”

And in Texas, we have seen a lot of competition in the areas of fire and police … But what we found is when we (also) looked at the general population of non-sworn positions, the city is lagging the market.”

-Lori Messer, managing director of Logic Compensation Group


Share
Rate

Taylor Press

Ad
Ad
Ad