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Panel recommends 2.9 percent pay increase for city, GUC

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City officials and members of Greenville Utilities joined together in a meeting to discuss employee pay and benefits for the upcoming year Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A joint committee is recommending a 2.9 percent pay increase for Greenville and GUC employees.

The Joint City/GUC Pay and Benefits Committee, which met Tuesday, also recommended a 2.1 percent salary structure adjustment for lower-wage workers.

The recommendations will now go before Greenville City Council and GUC’s Board of Commissioners for review. The two bodies will meet jointly April 23 to discuss the recommendation so each entity can finalize their respective budget for fiscal year 2018-19 which begins July 1.

The city and utility provider have a joint pay plan to ensure that compensation is compatible between the two and competitive in the market.

Michael Cowin, Greenville assistant city manager, said staff reviewed salary surveys conducted by Capital Associated Industries and five other survey firms to determine projected wage increases in the coming fiscal year. They also received data from public sector employers and 13 local private employers.

The public sector employers anticipate average salary increases of 2.9 percent, Cowin said, private employers project 3.2 percent increases.

The survey firms indicated wage increases ranging from 2.5 percent to 3 percent.

It was noted Greenville City Council was discussing a 2.5 percent salary increase in the coming fiscal year. Councilman Rick Smiley asked how much additional revenue was needed to fund a 2.9 percent increase. About $1 million is being budgeted for salary increases, Cowin said, an additional $160,000 is needed to raise it to 2.9 percent.

Greenville Utilities has budgeted a 3.5 percent increase consisting of both market adjustment and merit raises.

The city and GUC started annual salary structure reviews several years ago to ensure the structure, which sets a range of salaries for each position, remains competitive.

The human resource directors of the city and GUC, Leah Futrell and Richie Shreves, respectively, reported staff is preparing for an upcoming 10-year compensation study. The agencies will seek out consultants in the fall and winter and bring a consultant recommendation to each entity’s board in the spring of 2019.

The study will begin July 2019. Recommended changes will be brought before the City Council and GUC board in the spring of 2020. The goal will be to implement changes in July 2020.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570. Follow her on Twitter @ GingerLGDR.

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