The issue of compensation for city employees would benefit from a concise explanation. The City Council recommended a 7.5 percent increase in pay for sworn police and fire employees versus 5 percent proposed by the city manager. This would make Greensboro competitive with neighboring cities.
The city invests heavily in the training of police and fire personnel. When we make this investment and lose the employee within the first several years of employment, we do not recoup our training costs — a significant loss for the city.
The council committed to getting to $15/hour for minimum-wage workers by 2020. The new budget moves benefited employees from $12.50 to $13 an hour and roster employees from $10.50 to $11.50.
In 2011/2012, we completed a review of city staff compensation, comparing Greensboro to cities within a 300-mile radius. Subsequently, all city positions were benchmarked at a 50th percentile level based on that study. The council realizes that such a minimum puts us in the middle in our region for city employee compensation — mediocre, not exceptional. To attract and retain exceptional employees, the council has directed Human Resources to calculate the financial implications of raising the benchmark, in increments, to the 75th percentile in future years. Pay will remain on our radar. I am working on this issue and will stay focused on it.