In Response to Market Survey, Approximately Half of City’s Workforce to Receive a Mid-Year Salary Increase

News posted Feb. 07, 2017 - 6:00 am

Reacting to a recent market analysis, the City of Raleigh is moving forward with some immediate actions toward building a competitive, market-based compensation system for its employees. City Manager Ruffin Hall today announced mid-year salary increases for 2,101 positions – more than half the City’s workforce.

The salary increases will take effect April 1, and cost the City approximately $1.8 million in the current fiscal year. This action follows a comprehensive market analysis of the City’s compensation system by an outside consultant. A presentation on the analysis was given to the City Council today. Overall the analysis indicates the City’s actual salaries and pay ranges are generally competitive with the market, but there are also some significant challenges in some of the City’s pay levels.

Market data shows Raleigh Police and Fire personnel – particularly in entry level positions – are paid significantly below the target market rate. Nearly 1,200 of the 2,101 positions identified for mid-year salary increase are in public safety. Highlights include:

  • The starting salary for sworn police officers will increase to $40,000, nearly a 13.25 percent increase;
  • Police Officers, First Class Officers, and Master Officers will receive up to a 13.25 percent mid‐year increase; and,
  • Entry level firefighters will receive up to a 10 percent mid-year increase.

There are nearly 1,000 positions outside of Police and Fire that will receive a mid-year salary increase between two percent and four percent based on the following criteria:

  • Significant (15 percent or greater) misalignment with the market (more than 300 positions affected);
  • Positions with unusually high turnover (nearly 400 positions effected); and,
  • Positions that fall below the newly established Living Wage of $28,621 annually (215 positions affected).

“The decision to provide mid-year salary increases represents an immediate and meaningful commitment to the City’s workforce in the context of a broader initiative,” City Manager Hall said. “The current compensation structure is dated, confusing, and doesn’t completely reflect the market. In short, making improvements to our entire compensation system are long overdue - and it's the right thing to do.”

It has been 13 years since the City last performed a comprehensive market analysis.

The mid‐year salary adjustments are not intended to solve all of the issues with the City’s existing compensation structure. However the adjustments move the City in the right direction. The City’s ongoing efforts include developing a new job classification system, a new pay structure, and a new performance evaluation system.

“The goal in building a competitive, market-based compensation system is to assure the City of Raleigh can recruit, develop, reward and retain a qualified, diverse workforce,” Human Resources Director Stephen Jones told City Council members. “We knew going into this process that we did not have unlimited resources to address any potential pay issues that the market salary survey might reveal. But now we have data to help us prioritize pay decisions moving forward.”

Additional decisions about salary changes will be considered as part of the City’s annual budget process that begins in the spring.

Employee meetings to share updated information and answer questions are being scheduled at locations throughout the City during the week of Feb. 13.

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