Personnel Board approves new Pelham pay plan

Published 7:50 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A proposed new pay plan for Pelham employees is set to go before the City Council after two of the three members of the Pelham Personnel Board approved the plan during a Jan. 23 meeting.

During the meeting Personnel Board members Greg Darnell and Jim Collins voted to approve the plan. Personnel Board member Bobby Hayes was absent for health reasons.

As a result of the Personnel Board’s approval of the plan, the issue could go before the City Council as early as Feb. 4, Mayor Gary Waters said.

The Personnel Board meeting came about a week after Waters presented the pay plan to Pelham employees during a Jan. 17 public hearing. During a Jan. 22 meeting, the City Council voted to extend the city’s current pay plan through April 1 to allow council members time to review the proposed pay plan.

Waters previously said the Mercer pay plan is not compliant with the Pelham civil service law because it, among other things, does not apply the same amount of compensation to all positions in the same class. Waters said the Mercer plan served as the basis for a lawsuit brought against the city by several city employees in early 2012.

“By now, everyone knows the necessity for this change,” Waters told the Personnel Board members.

If passed, Waters said the new pay plan will save the city $970,723 through eliminated positions, and said the cost of adding new positions, implementing the new pay plan, funding a recent employee vacation buy-back plan and paying to settle the 2012 lawsuit will total about $853,138.

Waters previously said every current city employee will receive a raise if the new pay plan is adopted.

“This is an imperfect document. It’s going to require some tweaking,” Waters told the Personnel Board. “It’s a living document. It’s supposed to grow and contract with the city workforce.”