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McMinnville employees may get raises
Chastain, Ryle.jpg
Chastain, Ryle

McMinnville officials are considering a new pay scale and 3% cost-of-living adjustment in an effort to decrease employee turnover, a $744,096 total expenditure.


“We have a very, very competitive market because of the labor shortage,” Libby Rutledge, director of human resources for the city of McMinnville. “Our turnover rates are increasing. Just the past couple years, six employees from fire, 15 employee from police, and 11 employees from water have accepted jobs elsewhere.”


In an effort to offer competitive salaries, a compensation study was conducted by Burris, Thomas & Associates. The Brentwoodbased company analyzed city employees and their jobs and compared it to public sector salaries and a national database on salaries.


“Fire employees have left to go to private sectors because of money,” said Rutledge. “Other water departments come knocking at the door to take our guys because our guys are certified.”


Rutledge’s comments were made during a city Finance Committee meeting. Under consideration is implanting a new pay scale based on study results, as well as a 3% step for a cost-of-living increase. A handful of employees are above market maximum, which means they will receive no salary increase without the 3% step increase. If 3% is given, individuals above the market maximum will receive a 3% lump sum.


“I want to know what this new scale gets our lowest paid police officers and firefighters to,” said Mayor Ryle Chastain.


According to Rutledge, an entry level firefighter would go from $11.20 per hour to $14.34 and an entry level police officer would go from $16.30 to $17.67.


“So, how did the firefighter go up $3 and something, but the police go up by $1 and something?” asked Chastain.


Rutledge replied, “Over the past couple years, we have worked on police pay. We’ve had more turnover there and police is harder to fill. We always have applicants for full-time firefighters. Police, we don’t.”


Breakdown:


• Police Department has 40 employees. Two of which are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.1% to 10.1%. The lowest increase will be two police officers, and the highest will be a police lieutenant. Chief Nicole Mosley is a 0.7% increase.



• Fire Department has 34 employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.3% to 21.9%. The lowest increase will be for two employees, a fire engineer and a fire lieutenant, and the highest will be for four level 2 firefighters. Chief Kendall Mayfield is at a 0.7% salary increase.



• Administration Department has eight employees. One is above market maximum. Salary increase will range from 0.2% to 37.3%. The lowest will be the director of human resources, and the highest salary increase would be finance director Samantha Moore.



• Community Development has seven employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.5% to 34.6%. The lowest will be a building inspector, and the highest will be the stormwater, floodplain and GIS manager.



• Parks and Recreation has 11 employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.6% to 18.8%. The lowest will be an administrative assistant, and the highest will be a maintenance worker. Parks and Recreation director Justin Scott is at a 2.7% increase.



• Park Theater has two employees. None are above market maximum. Park Theater manager Kevin Roberts is at 1.2% and administrative assistant is at 4.3%. Roberts will soon be leaving Park Theater for a position at Parks and Recreation Department. He is currently the manager.



• Wastewater Department has nine employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.2% to 19.1%. The lowest increase will be the wastewater plant operator, and the highest will be the wastewater plant operator.



• Water Maintenance Department has 11 employees. One is above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.3% to 12.1%. The lowest increase will be the meter reader, and the highest increase will be two heavy equipment operators.


• Water Treatment has seven employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.2% to 2.8%. The lowest increase will be an account clerk, and the highest increase will be a water plant operator.



• Water and Wastewater Department director Ricky Morton is a 2.8% increase.



• Animal Control has one employee. That employee is over the market maximum.



• Vehicle Maintenance has five employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.5% to 18.8%. The lowest increase will be the vehicle maintenance supervisor, and the highest will be a mechanic.



• Public Works Department has 12 employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 1% to 20%. The lowest increase will be the streets maintenance foreman, and the highest will be streets maintenance supervisor. Public Works director Frank Southard is a 3% increase.



• Urban Forestry has three employees. None are above market maximum. Salary increases will range from 0.7% to 1.7%. The lowest increase will be a landscape worker, and the highest will be the landscape manager.


Providing employees with a 3% step increase will also prevent a new employee from being hired at the same step as a current employee.


To place all city government employees onto the new pay scale would cost the city an additional $475,575 annually. Proposed departmental budgets for fiscal year 2022-23 already include that salary increase, as well as the 3% step increase which added $268,521 annually.


McMinnville officials are currently considering proposed operating budgets and the salary increases. Changes can still be made throughout the budget-setting process.