Tuesday, September 16, 2014

City plans to study worker compensation rates

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 2/18/2013

Ottawa city commissioners likely will move forward with a plan to study how the city’s employee compensation packages stack up against other cities and private sector employers in the region.

Commissioners agreed to put a “classification and compensation study” on the agenda of their Wednesday meeting.

Ottawa city commissioners likely will move forward with a plan to study how the city’s employee compensation packages stack up against other cities and private sector employers in the region.

Commissioners agreed to put a “classification and compensation study” on the agenda of their Wednesday meeting.

Franklin County Board of Commissioners recently agreed to move ahead with a similar study.

Though the city and county worked together to develop a request for proposals sent to eight vendors to perform such a study, the city is recommending a different vendor than the firm the county selected to perform its study, Melissa Fairbanks, the city’s human resources director, said.

“While the city and county worked together to develop a request for proposal in the hopes there could be some cost savings by having the studies done at the same time, it is also important to note that each entity had very different philosophies, needs and approaches in selecting a vendor for the study,” Fairbanks said in her report. “We elected to use a team of employees representing all departments of the city to participate in the process, while the county’s recommendation was made at the administrative level.”

Fairbanks said the county’s selection process seemed to focus on the front end of the process, while the city’s focused more on the final product.

“As a result of those differences, each entity has recommended a different vendor for their study,” Fairbanks said.

Fairbanks said the city’s comprehensive study review team is recommending St. Louis-based CBIZ Human Capital Services perform the study at a bid of $30,250. The county selected The Austin Peters Group, Overland Park, to perform its study at a cost of $30,000.

Gene Ramsey, city commissioner, asked city staff if the budget included funds for the study.

Scott Bird, the city’s finance director, and Fairbanks indicated money was set aside in the budget to perform the study.

The commission agreed to consider approving the study at its next meeting.

Fairbanks told commissioners CBIZ indicated the study would take about four months to complete. Fairbanks said it had been about 10 years since the city undertook a compensation study. The county conducted its last compensation study in 2005.

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