The First Step

One of the citizen commenters at the council meeting last night brought up the City of DeKalb’s Management Pay Plan. She was scandalized by the leap from Step 1 to Step 2. It is easy to see why. Grade One starting pay, for example, is $18.158 per hour but on the first anniversary it jumps to $21.199. That’s a 16.75% increase. After that, annual increases are a more modest 2% per year and in fact they call it the “Two Percent Pay Plan.”

What the commenter seemed not to know is that all city contracts take a big jump from Step 1 to Step 2 (or Step A to Step B).

In 2008, the Police Contract (p. 35) started a patrol officer at an hourly wage of $26.69, which increased to $29.08 at Step B.

The AFSCME contract schedule (p. 40) pays a Building Supervisor at a rate of $28.291 the first year and $33.20 the second.

A new fire fighter makes $23.979 hourly to start, then goes to $29.524.

2 thoughts on “The First Step”

  1. Yinn. Not only do you have such an increase from step 1 to step 2 you also have a drastic increase in starting pay. On July 1 2007 starting pay for a FF / Parmamedic was $46,758. July 1 2009 starting pay for a FF Paramedic is $52,579. ( If I am reading the contract correctly)

    The CC is faced with paying 6k per FF more simple by waiting to hire them. Given the local job situation does this make sense? We ask our current employees to take a pay freeze or furlough but give those on the waiting list to be hired a pay increase??

    I really feel that every one of these positions will be filled. We just have to wait for the contract to expire so pay rates can reflect what we can afford.

    Sorry if this offends anyone


  2. You are right–I forgot to mention I used ff numbers just through FY2008 b/c that’s the one page that consistently loads right for me so I can read it.

    I’ve always said our public safety employees are worth every penny we can afford to pay them but I must say I can’t figure out how our city council came to the conclusion that the large increases were sustainable over the long haul. It also strikes me as dishonest to advertise a modest starting pay with no one realizing what happens after one year of employment.

    One exception though, I feel bad for the police department b/c to me, their salaries do not seem out of line for our community, yet we’ve just put them through the wringer due to the timing of their contract expiration with our latest financial panic.

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