Alabaster approves new employee pay scale

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – City of Alabaster employees will have a new pay scale for the upcoming fiscal year after the City Council voted unanimously to approve the plan during a July 24 meeting.

The new pay plan will go into effect for all full-time city employees at the end of September, along with Alabaster’s 2018 fiscal year budget.

Council members approved the new pay scale about a week after holding a work session to review the new plan with city employees.

During the July 18 work session, city employees were given the opportunity to voice concerns regarding the proposed plan before it comes before the council for a vote. While no employees spoke during the work session, the city’s court magistrates presented council members with a written list of concerns regarding the plan.

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon and City Manager Brian Binzer said city leaders met with Alabaster employees three times before the work session to get employee feedback on the plan while the city’s Department of Human Resources was drafting the plan.

The new pay plan will make multiple changes to the city’s current plan.

The city currently operates on an eight-grade pay scale with eight pay steps in each grade. In the new plan, there is a 5 percent pay difference between each of the eight pay steps.

The new pay plan will expand the scale to nine pay grades with 12 pay steps in each grade. In the new plan, there will be a 3 percent pay difference between each pay step.

Binzer previously said the city formulated the proposed plan while studying the employee pay structures of similar cities such as Prattville, Tuscaloosa, Trussville and Northport. The city also will raise the pay for current Alabaster employee positions making 10 percent or more below the median pay of comparable cities, Binzer said.

The new plan also will make changes to how the city handles merit raises each year.

Currently, full-time city employees are eligible to receive 5 percent merit raises on the anniversary of their employment with the city. In the new plan, all full-time city employees will be eligible to receive 3 percent merit raises once a year in March.

Alabaster Chief Financial Officer John Haggard said with the new plan, all full-time employees should see a slight raise to bring them in line with the new step structure. Haggard previously said enacting the new pay plan and giving full-time employees a 3 percent merit raise likely will impact the city’s budget by about $500,000.