A change in methodology lengthened the Conway City Council’s discussion about city staff salary increases Tuesday night.
By the end of the specially-called committee meeting, the aldermen decided to honor the market rate value for the salaries in question, but wanted to re-evaluate some of the proposed rates that were suggested after department heads used data from cities not used in the original analysis.
The action will not be official until the aldermen vote on it in a city council meeting. The next council meeting is set for Aug. 13.
The city used the Johanson Group — the same group used to do the previous market salary study — to re-evaluate some of the salaries with more input on the duties each employee is responsible for.
After they came back with market rates, some department heads looked at other cities the Johanson Group did not use in order to justify higher salaries. Some on city council felt this was unfair to the other departments who did not take this measure.
“I don’t mind paying what is proposed, not one bit,” said Councilman David Grimes. “But with the methodology change for seven employees, it’s fair to the others to maybe look at some of them. Maybe it won’t make a difference, but to not know, I don’t think that’s fair.”
The process for re-evaluating staff salaries has been going on since January, and some staff members have been anticipating a salary adjustment since then.
Human Resource Director Lisa Mabry-Williams said council wants to take a further look at the proposed salaries for the city engineer, traffic engineer and staff engineer. The number of positions up for re-evaluation changed several times during the meeting.
At this time, people in those positions can expect a raise up to market value. They may receive an additional raise after evaluation of their duties.
Council also said they have been saying since the beginning of the process they would catch those people up with the money they would have earned if these changes had been made in January. The aldermen said they wanted to get that money to the employees in one check instead of spreading it out.
(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1212.)