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Council approves new salary and classification standards

At the Thursday legislative session, the City of Kansas City, Mo., City Council approved what is expected to be the first of several phases of new pay and classification standards for many City employees. These first changes will go into effect Sept. 3.

The modifications to the City's compensation policy will increase the minimum salaries of most hourly pay classifications and combining dozens of hourly job classes. These changes also reduce the number of hourly job classes from 170 to 126, which is expected to increase flexibility in the delegation of work duties. These changes do not affect firefighting positions.

The salary changes are designed to make the City's pay structure more competitive, thereby increasing the City's ability to compete more effectively in the job market, and attract and retain employees.

"I am grateful to the city manager, mayor and council for recognizing the need for creating a competitive compensation system. It is easy to say you appreciate the hard work of your employees, but leaders who support those statements with this type of legislation are to be commended," said Gary O'Bannon, director of the Human Resources Department.

The methodology of the study included a market survey of 37 public/private agencies which were compared against a representative sample of City job classes. The results showed that on the average, City job classes were 14.6 percent below market minimums. For some positions, the pay was more than 50 percent below the market minimum. The monthly impact to employees ranges from $16-624.

"The salaries of City employees must be competitive with the job market in order for us to keep good employees. It's taken a long time and a lot of hard work by many individuals to make this happen," City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen said.

The salary changes are the first phase of an expected series of salary adjustments designed to move hourly compensation rates to be consistent with the surveyed benchmarks.

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