Final vote for Phase 1a of the Simpsonville employee compensation updates was tonight. Resolution 2019-04 passed unanimously!
Background: We did a citywide employee classification and compensation study. I’ve been calling for that since 2016. Our employees are our greatest asset. They provide quality service and deserve pay more commensurate with their responsibilities, experience, and education.
The long-term plan is to get every employee up to the minimum of their new classification. It will cost 1.7 million dollars, so we’re going in phases.
Phase 1a: the folks with “boots on the ground” at SPD and SFD. Cost $322,500. NO tax increase.
We found 1/3 of that cost in the current budget. And will use FY19 surplus to cover the remainder. FY19 surplus = $2,000,000. This is an excellent use of that money IMO. Again, we are not increasing taxes for our citizens to fund this. This is a win for everyone. We need the pay raises for those who put their lives on the line for us every day. I’ve been pushing for PD & FD recruitment & retention since 2016.
Just give out an idea of what this looks like for the men and women who protect us every day, our SPD starting pay for a patrol officer will increase from $34,775 to $38,862. Starting pay for firefighter will increase from $30,360 to $35,742.
This will improve recruitment and retention, make us competitive with our sister cities, and is a fairer pay for the good work they do. Within two years, we will implement step increases to ensure experience is rewarded. If you work with us for five years, your pay should reflect that.
Phase 1b will get all other city employees up to their new minimums. We expect to incorporate this into the FY21 budget. Phase 1b cost = $550,000. Phase 2 will be getting all employees step increases to compensate for tenure in the new classification. This phased approach is fiscally responsible. Council only voted on Phase 1a because 1b and 2 will be accounted for in the FY21 & FY22 budgets.
This is the kind of long-term planning I’ve been arguing for since elected. Finally making progress!