County Commissioner Pfeifer: New pay study amazingly calls for across the board hikes

Tue, 02/12/2008 - 5:44pm
By: Letters to the ...

The County Commission is scheduled to discuss the job classification and compensation study of county employees at our meeting on Feb. 14. This University of Georgia study was first presented at the Jan. 10 meeting.

My intent for this study was to “score” the factors that are involved in each job and reveal where adjustments to classifications might be justified due to changes in employment conditions.

Then, if some jobs had been altered so that a reclassification was needed, a change in compensation might be due.

This study does contain the classifications recommended for each position by the people who wrote this study. It does not contain the classifications that apply to those positions at the present time. It does not show how, and why, those classifications needed to change. It does not allow a comparison to be made between current classifications and the recommendations.

The conclusions that the study comes to are shocking to me.

This study seems to indicate that classifications went up. All of them. Every job we have seems to have become more difficult, requiring more skills than were needed previously.

And, as a result, this plan recommends that we give an across the board increase. Depending on the plan chosen, the increases would be in a range from 8.75 percent to 13.23 percent (combined total of “classification changes” and “equity adjustment”).

How many of our taxpayers have received this much of an increase in their income this past year? I can tell you it isn’t very many. I think that those that may have received increases of this magnitude received performance related bonuses or a promotion.

Yet, the taxpayers who didn’t increase their income by this amount are the ones you would be asking to fund these increases. I don’t believe that is wise, I don’t believe that is fair and I don’t believe that is sensible.

In January, Chairman Smith asked what policies and procedures the county could implement as an organization to prevent “getting into the position of five years from now that the county was faced with another 10 percent change.”

Mr. McCoy said that some of their clients made annual adjustment to their pay scales; they used the Consumer Price Index as an indicator for inflation.

That seems to ignore that Fayette County has had COLA — cost of living — increases in past years. This is the reason why the county is not far behind other governments in the area. This was said at the January 10 meeting but I don’t see it in the minutes.

There is no back-up documentation that does compare Fayette County to any other local government, either in pay scale or in retention of employees.

Also, this study might have indicated how a plan should be developed that would accommodate “merit increases.” Annual performance increases should be linked to employee service and/or performance. I, at least, have seen no plan that would adequately address the needed merit increases. I would like to see one.

Peter Pfeifer

County Commission, Post 3

Peachtree City, Ga.

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