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May 7, 2013

Jeffersonville approves cuts and salary ordinance

Changes still require final readings from city council



Following the approval of the budget cuts, Jeffersonville Human Resources Director Kim Calabro asked that the council formally approve changes for the city’s largest expense — its employees.

She asked that a market wage survey that had been conducted on behalf of the city, beginning last year, to help set pay grades and an administrative policy for the city be approved or be set aside.

A wage study undertaken by Elizabeth Gross, owner of ParkLand HR Services LLC, was designed to review Jeffersonville’s current payment policy and offer suggestions on how to make improvements to the system. The wage scale and salary policy — which is supposed to be reviewed every two years — was compared to other cities of similar size in Indiana and Bureau of Labor of Statistics figures, and a series of recommendations was offered. The main recommendation offered to the employees’ compensation was to reduce the number of pay grades in the city from its current structure of 16 to 10 and to expand the pay ranges within those classifications.

“We’ve been discussing this for almost a year, we’ve spent about $38,000 total ... I think it’s about time we make a decision,” Calabro said.

City Council President Connie Sellers asked that if by passing the recommended policy would positions identified as being underpaid automatically be brought up to the higher pay rate recommended?

“Well, again that kind of goes back to having a plan and the time frame for that plan,” Calabro said.

But some employees have already been hired based on the new pay scale.

“When we did Mr. [Les] Merkley’s wage, we used the new one,” Sellers said. “We didn’t use the old one, thinking this was going to be passed.”

Calabro added that a paralegal and a new employee in the city’s engineering department also were hired under the new pay grade. She continued and said a number of positions have not been filled that are open in the city, because she was waiting on the new policy to be approved.

Among the positions she listed were the animal shelter director; two part-time kennel attendants; parks department general laborer; street department general laborer; safety director; and assistant director of finance.

Calabro added that not all of the changes to the employee pay grades will be raises.

“If you look at the current pay range and the proposed pay range, in particular, for the assistant director of finance and the safety director’s pay range, [it] goes down about $3,000.”

The ordinance was unanimously passed on its first and second readings. A third and final approval will need to occur before the changes go into effect.

Look for more information from Monday’s city council meeting in an upcoming edition of the News and Tribune.

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