Carolina Beach Council Votes Unanimously for Employee Pay Increase at Monthly Workshop

Carolina Beach Council Votes Unanimously for Employee Pay Increase at Monthly Workshop

Carolina Beach Council Votes Unanimously for Employee Pay Increase at Monthly Workshop Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 27 April 2022 14:13

At yesterday’s Town of Carolina Beach workshop just before department heads shared their budgets, Town Manager Bruce Oakley addressed the Mayor and Council stating, “what you will see in their budgets when it comes to salaries includes a 7% market adjustment or cost of living increase, that’s what we were planning on when we started developing these budgets however since that time and staff started working on those we have seen almost all of our neighbors including Wilmington, New Hanover County, Wrightsville Beach, Brunswick County have all incorporated a higher cost of living increases or market adjustments. As one of your goals in the strategic plan was recruitment retention and we’ve seen it, we’ve seen, we’ve seen employees get picked off already, and other ones leaning toward that. I would Council if they would to consider during this presentation today, consider at least exploring the opportunity to change something. We have come along as staff as a change to the 7% and have a tiered system with a 8% increase for department head level type positions, 9% for in-between and a 10% for the lower-paid employees for the Town. We are running the numbers and if something could be done because these other places have done it immediately knowing that they are losing employees, we would request you council would consider doing it as soon as possible so we can implement that to get, make sure we don’t lose the employees. 

Mayor and Council discussed neighboring communities and their recent requests. After each Department shared their proposed budget changes that included 3 new employees at an estimated cost of around $270,000 per year Oakley asked the Mayor and Council “I didn’t know if you wanted to circle around the what we talk about pay increases.” He went on to say “we have issues with losing officers but I also know from the department heads down they’ve been tried to be picked off. If not every one of them, it’s not just the police department that’s facing these battles we’ve got department heads that are being actively recruited to leave and at some point, that money will talk.” Mayor Barbee made a motion “to proceed with staggered salary increase plan the Bruce said with the broken in to pay grade scales of 8%, 9% and 10% holding the 8% until July 1st doing the others effective June 1st. The motion was backed unanimously by council who heard “terrible” come from the audience. Mayor Barbee stated he didn’t think it was terrible to pay our employees so you can call it what you want. Councilwoman LeCompte asked to make a comment about the increase stating “as someone who owns a business and knows how hard it is to find employees right now. Everybody is having to increase what we pay our people in order to retain our good people….retention is one of our highest priorities, especially with knowledgeable people.” Matt Dunn addressed Mayor and Council from the crowd stating the “terrible” comment was not made about the pay increase for town employees, it was because Mayor and Staff were once again making a decision at this caliber without public discussion at a workshop and not a regular town council meeting as an actual agenda item. 

Councilman Healy stated it’s not terrible to vote at a workshop at all. Mayor Barbee added, “I’m gonna stop this debate because it’s going to get out of hand real quick.” 

The Carolina Beach Town Council will hold a budget workshop on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. in the Town Council Chambers located at 1121 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach. Town staff will hold a Budget Open House for the public to review the proposed FY22/23 budget on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.  The public is encouraged to attend.

The following is a press release from the town concerning the increase: During budget discussions at the April 26th Council workshop, the topic of paying competitive wages was mentioned as a concern of both Council members and management. Like other government agencies around the state, Carolina Beach recognizes that in order to attract and retain a quality workforce, focus must be given to the current economic climate. To combat record inflation and bring pay scales up to market average, Town Council voted unanimously to 

approve a one-time market rate salary adjustment for all employees. Effective June 1st, employees in pay grades  12-17 will receive a 10% pay increase, while those in pay grades 18-26 will receive a 9% increase. Staff that are in pay grade 27 and above will receive an 8% increase effective July 1st. By bringing pay rates in line with the current market, the Town is positioning itself to remain competitive within our neighboring communities.  The Town’s Salary Grade Pay Plan can be found online in the Human Resources section of our website at:  https://www.carolinabeach.org/government/departments/human-resources/classification-compensation. If you have any questions, please contact the Town Manager’s office at (910) 458-2994. 

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