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Study recommends city increase employee salaries
Raise to account for market adjustment, other changes take effect in FY 2022 if council approves
Covington news

COVINGTON, Ga. — Recent salary study results show some employees of the city of Covington could use a pay raise.

In a salary survey conducted by The Archer Company, recommendations for the city to consider included each job grade consist of 14 steps and 3% between each step. The market step is set at step 7. Archer also recommends each employee reach their salary range midpoint after six years of employment.

Recommendations to increase the salary range to account for a market adjustment; and increase salaries one step (up to the grade maximum) would require approval from the Covington City Council, Assistant City Manager Freddy Morgan said.

For the study, Covington was compared to similar organizations including Carrolton, Conyers, Griffin, Lagrange, Lawrenceville, Marietta, McDonough, Newnan, Smyrna and Winder.

Across city departments, the study found that 2.22% was the average increase for a job title.

More than 70% of job grades received an increase; 49% of job grades received an increase of at least 3%; and more than 25% of job grades received an increase of over 5%.

Broken down by each city department, community development led the way with an average increase of 5.53% followed by the auto shop at 4.39%.

Among other notable departments’ average percentage change was 2.52% for Emergency 911, 1.96% for the fire department and 0.35% for the police department.

The only decreases were for utility billing (-2.46%) and cemetery and parks departments (-3.94%).

The study’s results were presented to the Covington City Council during a Nov. 16 work session. If the city council formally approves the salary changes suggested by Archer, they would be implemented on July 21, 2021, for the FY 2022 budget. As the current data would be one year old at the time proposed changes would take effect, the city’s human resources department suggested increasing the scale to adjust for cost of living.

If approved, the next steps for the city would include:

• Evaluating each employee to compare their years of experience to the market midpoint. A plan will be developed for each employee with six years of experience who is not at the market midpoint.

• Any employee whose current pay is below grade will have their pay increased to at least the minimum pay for their job title.

Every two years a salary and wage survey is conducted for the city of Covington to compare the competitive worth of each job and to establish a pay range for each job title, Morgan said.