City: Pay ranges can be moving target

Municipal salary plan has had minor changes since its creation

Keeping salaries of city employees competitive to attract good candidates requires regular attention and adjustment, Jefferson City officials say.

City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus said there are a number of factors that come into play when trying to maintain pay ranges and to stay competitive in salaries.

Gail Strope, director of human resources, said the city had an outside study done on employee salaries in 2003, which compared Jefferson City to about 30 other employers across the state, including municipalities and private companies. The study found the city’s municipal workers were compensated below the average of other state organizations and outlined four different plans to address salaries. The plans ranged from what Strope called the “Cadillac” plan, which was plan A, to the plan that would have the least financial impact, plan D.

City officials adopted plan D effective Jan. 1, 2004, which had a cost of more than $350,000 to implement. Nickolaus said the cost of the plan shows how far below the average some employees had fallen.

“At that time, that’s how far our salaries were out of whack,” Nickolaus said.

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