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Salary plan could cost Farmville more than $100K

Dr. Rick Campbell, technical director with Paypoint HR of Davidsonville, Maryland, addressed the Farmville Town Council Wednesday, Feb. 5, to present the firms comprehensive Compensation and Classification Study report recently conducted for the town.

In July, the town awarded a contract to Paypoint HR at the cost of $36,500 to conduct the study. The town had budgeted $100,000 for the study.

One main focus of the research was to review the town’s current employee classification and compensation plan, to include but not limited to organizational structure, job titles, job descriptions, pay grades, and minimum and maximum ranges within pay grades.

“There were essentially two phases to this study,” Campbell said. “There was an internal component and an external component, but the main object was fairness throughout the process.”

According to Campbell, Paypoint HR conducted seven onsite focus groups with approximately 58 employees from all departments, conducted online questionnaires and received data from 18 other locations.

“The whole basis of this plan came about after discussions between the mayor and town council about job descriptions and salaries,” Dr. C. Scott Davis, interim town manager said. “It was determined that the pay plans, pay grades, and job descriptions of employees haven’t been changed in over 20 years, so it was past, or at a time for a full review to be done.”

The town employs 137 full-time employees and 28 part-time employees.

According to Campbell, the study was divided into two parts: a classification phase, and a compensation phase.

The classification phase included identification, review, and analysis of specific work being performed in various positions. That data was then used to simplify positions and match them to the external market in an “apples to apples” comparison.

The compensation phase consisted of an initial baseline analysis and an external market survey of local public organizations to determine what the local labor market pays for specific jobs.

“Paypoint HR has identified opportunities, but it is up to the town council to determine which are most appropriate and the timing of implementation,” Campbell said.

During his presentation, Campbell revealed that five employees are currently being compensated above the maximum of the respective grade, including one account clerk, one communication officer II, one custodian, one secretary, and one survey assistant/GIS manager.

In addition, two employees are currently being compensated below the minimum of the current respective pay grade, including one horticulturist and one water plant operator.

The study also found several other positions were below the pay-grade minimums. Paypoint HR recommends raising the salary of seven positions at a cost of $7,240 to the town.

Five positions were found to be substantially below the market pay grade. It was recommended to raise those salaries at the cost of $57,304 to the town.

There were 19 positions that were noted at below-market pay grades. It was recommended to raise those salaries at the cost of $62,485 to the town.

According to Farmville Mayor David Whitus, town council is waiting to hire a new town manager before delving more into the study results.

“After a town manager is in place, council will then decide if they will fund the recommendations and, if they do, will it be over a period of time and how this all fits into the budget,” Whitus said.