Ogden giving city workers pay raises with more possibly in the future
OGDEN, Utah — Last year, the Ogden city council voted to approve a 3-phased approach to increase pay for city employees. The vote came after the results of a compensation study by a third-party firm. The city is currently exploring options, including more pay raises, in order to retain employees and stay competitive in the market.
A city spokesperson said after the study, Ogden worked to make their employees a top priority. However, the spokesperson also said Ogden is likely not the only city facing challenges with employee retention.
“I don’t think that we’re alone when we’re considering the staff shortages and the whole environment of employment, even nationwide,” Ogden City communications manager Mike McBride said.
Despite worker shortages, McBride says meeting the needs of residents has not been an issue.
“We’ve been able to maintain service all along and even through the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve been able to maintain a high level of service for our residents.” But while services haven’t been interrupted, some say that has been at a cost.
“We’re not in an occupation where [if] somebody calls in sick, we can just not come to work,” Ogden City Deputy Fire Chief Mike Slater said. “We have to be able to respond to 9-1-1 calls.”
He also said firefighters in the department come back to work exhausted and taxed from the daily workload.
But since the pay increases were implemented, Slater said the department was able to get more workers.
“We just hired six firefighters who just finished the academy on Friday,” he said “But we’re still nine short.”
Revamped pay structure
When the city implemented the pay raises, it instituted a two percent cost of living wage increase. It also revamped their pay structure so that workers could move up to a pay grade that was compatible with what other workers in their field were earning nationwide. Both McBride and Slater said it’s way to stay competitive in today’s market.
The Ogden City Council will vote on another pay increase in July. However, McBride says he’s not sure what the pay recommendations will look like and what will take place after that.
“Right now we don’t know,” he said. “I can’t speak to what that looks like for July, but I know that there will be further recommendations that the city council will have for their consideration in their budget planning.”
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