Pelham City Council hears salary survey presentation

The Pelham City Council listened to a presentation of a salary survey conducted by Mercer, Inc. at a work session Monday night.

Councilman Mike Dickens prefaced the presentation by saying “The purpose of tonight is just to listen. Our intent is to try and understand ‘Are we doing things right?’ and ‘What can we do better?'”

He encouraged those present not to assume everything mentioned in the survey would come to pass, and reminded everyone the Council would spend a long time considering all the options before making any decisions.

The City of Pelham spent $85,000 and gave six months of its time to Mercer to do an in-depth study of the city employees’ salaries.

Scott Cook, a senior correspondent at Mercer and the project manager for Pelham’s salary study, explained the astronomical amount of research that went into the study. Every city employee was given a questionnaire to help determine the nature of his or her job. Next, the jobs were each mapped into a pay grade.

Cook said Mercer recommended an 18-grade pay scale with 12 steps per grade.

“Currently, the city is only using a three-to-six step system and in our opinion this won’t allow alot of opportunity for people to grow in their jobs,” Cook said. “A person can top out pretty fast.”

The study also concluded Pelham’s city employees are paid, on average, 18 percent more than the median amount when compared to other cities Pelham’s size and composition.

Cook explained that clocking in over the 50-percent median mark means that Pelham its offers salaries that would be considered “competitive” in today’s market.

Cook also introduced two different pay-scale scenarios to the Council: one developed at the 50th percentile–18 percent lower than Pelham’s current one, and one developed at the 75th percentile, slightly higher, but more on track with what’s already in place.

“I know there have been some rumors that we’re going to cut pay,” said Mayor Don Murphy after the presentation. “I have no intentions of cutting pay and I don’t think the council does either. We’re not gonna make a snap decision right away. I’ve got conficence in this council and I know we’ll do the right thing.”

For further info and to view Mercer’s entire presentation, visit the City of Pelham’s website.

In other business:

-Mayor Don Murphy declared this week “Rick and Bubba week” in Pelham in response to all the support the city has gotten from the radio show hosts.

-The Council passed a resolution authorizing payment of construction and improvements for the Oak Mountain Bridge and Bike Trail Project (B.U.M.P.) in the amount of $72,458.00 from the Capital Improvement Fund. After federal grant money is realized, the money will be reimbursed through in-kind services from ADECA.

-The Council also passed a resolution authroizing the amending of the Fiscal Year 2010 budgets of the city’s general fund, the Pelham Civic Complex, the Pelham Racquet Club, Ballantrae Golf Club and the Pelham Water and Sewer Departments for the purpose of purchasing a replacement blade server that will provide remote access to the City’s compter network.