Merit-based pay raise plan for city jobs makes sense

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

Last week’s move to implement a performance-based pay raise planfor city employees represents a significant change in philosophy bythe Board of Aldermen.

Previous years have seen across-the-board raises, regardless ofjob quality, given to employees. That approach contributed tostifling employee initiative and encouraging complacency, whiledoing nothing to address personnel work attendance and disciplineproblems.

Under the new merit pay plan, employees will be evaluated basedon the job they do for the city. Mayor Bob Massengill anddepartment heads face a difficult task in fairly assessingemployees’ job performances, but we are confident they are up tothe challenge.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Employees who rank high will receive larger percentage raiseswhile those who score low will receive smaller raises or perhapsnone at all.

Employees who get the good raises will be encouraged to keep upthe good work. Those who do not will be given an incentive to dobetter, or perhaps find employment elsewhere.

Performance-based pay plans work well in the business world. Theconcept can work equally as well in government provided thatpolitics are kept out of the equation.

Board members no doubt will hear complaints from those employeeswho feel they are getting less than what they think theydeserve.

In those instances, aldermen must stand behind the mayor’s anddepartment heads’ evaluations and decisions, provided they arebased on sound reasoning and sufficient documentation. After all,the mayor and department heads are the ones who deal with employeeson a day-to-day basis and who have to ensure uninterrupted cityservices when problems arise.

Disgruntled employee concerns aside, aldermen are to becommended for their willingness to move forward with the merit payplan. It should pay dividends in the form of more attentive andbetter motivated city employees, which will help make Brookhaveneven better than it already is.