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Jun 07

Manager's Message 5/1/16: FY 2017 Compression Adjustments/Pay & Benefit Summary

Posted on June 7, 2016 at 4:06 PM by Mary Bunting

Today Nicole Clark, our Human Resources Director, presented the details associated with our FY 2017 compression adjustments. Over the next couple of weeks, she and I will be scheduling sessions for employees to come learn more about these adjustments and the logic behind the structure of our proposal. For now, I wanted to provide a high level overview of these adjustments which occur in the first paycheck of the new fiscal year. 

  • Compression adjustments will be the first salary adjustments made, before the general wage increase of 2%. This will allow the 2% increase to be on the larger, adjusted base.
  • For the full-time general workforce and all public safety sworn personnel who do not meet the special qualifications listed below, the compression adjustments will be $100 per year of service in position up to a maximum of $700.
  • For public safety sworn officers who were promoted before July 1, 2007, and who have not received senior/master or other such designations (such as First Sergeant) in their fields: the compression adjustments will be $2,100. This is the equivalent of $300 per year of service in the city for the same seven year period as other adjustments noted above. In addition, for this group, some additional targeted in-range adjustments will be made to ensure that we correct the inverted relationships between ranks that exist. While some overlap between ranks is natural and expected, we have existing inverted relationships in which there are senior and experienced supervisors whose pay is below less senior and newly promoted ones. This has resulted from two factors. Employees promoted before July 1, 2006 received 5% instead of 8% promotional increases AND did not get the compounded benefit of additional increases from senior/master designations. The combined effect of both has created this situation which we agreed needed to be uniquely addressed. The combination of the $2,100 compression adjustment, and the targeted in-range adjustments where warranted, are designed to correct these inverted relationships that are unique to the Police and Fire Divisions.
  • No compression adjustments will be made for those employees making more than $100,000. 

I want to stress that these compression adjustments are but a beginning. As we have long stated, it is impossible to fully make up for the recessionary years when no raises were given. Both public and private employees throughout the country saw some degree of wage stagnation during those years. Compression adjustments are designed to build spread into the ranges and ensure inverted relationships are corrected. We will monitor the effect of our changes and look to do additional compression adjustments in the future as funds and needs dictate.

As the compression adjustments are somewhat complex, I urge you to attend one of the upcoming employee information sessions to learn more about them. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to write me. Dates, times and locations will be sent out later this week.

Finally, as a reminder, these compression adjustments will be combined with a 2% general wage increase and the City picking up 100% of the health insurance increase. Permanent part-time and WAE employees who worked at least 1,040 hours from 4/12015 to 3/31/2016 are eligible for the 2% general wage increase.

The attached chart shows the net effect on compensation of these changes by sample salary ranges. Together, these salary and benefit increases total over $4.5 million - a major commitment to the workforce.

compression chart

While I would certainly liked to have done more for our workforce - in my mind, our employees are deserving of all that we can afford and more - I am very pleased that we are able to make these big steps in compensation this year, and would like to thank the City Council for their unanimous support in this regard.



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