Jasper, Ga. – Since last winter, the City of Jasper has been discussing changes to its salaries and pay scale. Now, the city is seriously looking at a base rate of $13 per hour.
In addition, council member Jim Looney said, as he began discussion on the topic, that he also wanted to look at the “possibility of raising our hourly position by one dollar at the same time.” Still more, Looney also requested looks at moving from weekly pay to bi-weekly pay.
Looney and Mayor Steve Lawrence reiterated this is the beginning of the process as they will be “looking at” these changes. The city is not fully imposing changes yet, simply studying what the costs and results could be. With the accounting software capable of making the process easier to handle, Looney said he understood there is a burden on employees. He also suggested a retention advancement bonus to aid in the transition process to a bi-weekly payroll. Suggested as a one time payment, it was suggested only to be available to ease employees into the new payroll should the city move forward with the option.
Council member Sonny Proctor referenced the efforts of Looney back when he was the interim city manager for Jasper. Proctor noted that the city has been looking at the topic since then.
City Manager Brandon Douglas also echoed the sentiment saying that the priority for pay scale changes since 2019 as the TAVT tax changes and then the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created issues and needs for the city. Douglas said he understood this could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars more, but is a dire need. He stated that he is tasked with the city’s needs and while this could be a recruitment tool, it is mainly a retention tool in efforts to maintain proper levels in the city.
Proctor stated in their May meeting that employee satisfaction “is very important.” The council as a whole agreed with Anne Sneve commenting on the amount of work that has already been done on pay scales. The city will move forward with studies and reports on these possible changes and the effects it could have.
The council will use that information in furthering the development of changes. When the reports are given, the council could approve the changes to be put into use at that time.