AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta city leaders say it’s time to look at the salaries of city employees.
“The top level always got what they needed and now…we’re looking at a study and it’s going to affect the little people and I want to make sure we do that,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
The commission did that voting in favor of a $100,000 comprehensive wage and salary study for the entire work force. Those who opposed the study say city staff should look at certain positions instead of paying for the large comprehensive study.
“Even if we were going to use a temp agency to help us get the information together, if they’re over-staffed, spend $5,000, bring it back and there’s $90,000 into the salaries of the individuals, I don’t think that’s we need to do it,” says Commissioner Sean Frantom.
A majority of commissioners did support the salary study the first one in 17 years but there were questions of why would the city again be putting consultants to work.
“How many studies have we had wind up on the first, second, or third shelf and the higher we go they’re not going to have a ladder high enough to get the study off the shelf,” says Mayor Pro-Tem Grady Smith.
“I don’t want to do a study and put it back on the shelf. I want a study to show how we can give employees something,” says Commissioner Marion Williams.
“We know we don’t have the money for everybody, so why are we going to do this big elaborate study that has pipe dreams of where we are going to get? Let’s take a small sector of it and at least try to make a difference for those individuals,” said Frantom.
Payroll makes up about three quarters of the city budget and since the last study was conducted in the late 1990’s it’s expected the study will find and recommend a lot of salary increases. The administrator says those increases could be phased in to limit the impact on yearly budgets, however some commissioners don’t want to wait if the study finds employees are underpaid.