Township talks pay

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:49 PM

“It answered the question of where are we to market,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “We want to meet the market so we can attract the people we want to attract.”

The MML study included 23 positions, and one of the report’s key findings is that the township’s pay and benefit package — as a whole — is within the range of similar communities. The study indicates that while some of the township’s positions pay more than similar communities and some pay less, all of the positions are within the recommended pay structure.

“The decision that came out of that (recent work session) was that we were near or at market,” Cargo said. “Essentially, we’re at market, which is no surprise there.”

It has been the township’s position that they shouldn’t lead the market nor should it lag behind when it comes to employees’ wages, compensation and benefits.

The study also recommended a wage scale for employees that would use eight pay grades, depending on the job. The township would use a point scale to move people through the pay ranges, which would be composed of nine steps.

“We’re going to accept their wage scale and modify it to fit the performance scale we have in place,” Cargo said. “I’ll be using it for 2015 salaries and putting people into their respective steps based on performance.”

Cargo noted that the total wage and benefit budget for the township equates to about $2.2 million.

Cargo said it is important for the township to study its wages and benefits from time to time.

“The city just completed theirs last year,” he said. “I can think of eight different townships that have done theirs over the past year.”

Grand Haven Township last took a similar look at wages and benefits in 2011.

The wage survey also gave some insight into where the township stands with some of its employee perks. Cargo said the township is slightly above other communities in its leave time available to employees with more than 15 years of service, and slightly below with what is offered to those with less than five years of service.

“We’re going to adjust our leave system to adjust that for all new employees being hired,” he noted.

The survey also pointed to changes that could be made to the retiree health benefits. The township might consider switching from a guaranteed benefit to a guaranteed contribution in order to eliminate future liabilities.

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