County parks may do salary survey PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:27
Wood County Park District is pursuing a salary and job classification study to address the claim that its employees are underpaid.
The district is bound to lose some employees to the Toledo-area park system, but low pay has accelerated the problem, said Director Neil Munger.
"I think it's critical for the organization, especially for the board, to have an idea of what we should be paying our employees," he said.
"We keep hearing from our employees 'We're underpaid. We need to make more money.' Looking at the number of people that are leaving for other jobs in other park districts, I think that has raised a lot of questions: 'Are we paying our people enough?'"
Park commissioners heard a pitch Wednesday from John Battigaglia of The Archer Group, which has handled job descriptions and compensation systems for departments overseen by Wood County commissioners since 1998. The park district is a separate entity.
Battigaglia gave a rough estimate of $7,000 for the cost of the study. Munger said he needs to see more detail on that figure before asking the board to approve the study, though it is in line with what they expected to pay.
Archer uses a proprietary system to evaluate job responsibilities through different criteria, ranking them based on the challenges and responsibilities of the positions and developing a salary scale. The process starts with employees describing the work they do in surveys, which are then reviewed by management and consultants before a rating is calculated.
"We like to be fair. I often tell organizations that when you develop a plan, it's an allocation of discontent," Battigaglia said. "We can never make everybody happy. If we make management really happy, employees aren't happy; if we make employees happy, management isn't happy. We try to merge the two together when we have a final product to make sure we're treating everybody fair and equally."
The park district completed an employment study in 2009 which indicated salaries were low, Munger said.
"When you looked at the old study, sure we were somewhere near the range. But consistently our salaries were at the bottom of that range, almost across the board."
Munger said Archer was attractive because it has experience doing such work in similar circumstances for other park districts, which were challenged by losing employees to larger, nearby park systems. Munger said Frank McLaughlin, a former park commissioner who uses the Archer system in his work managing a county department, "strongly recommended" talking with Archer representatives about a new study.
In other business, the board:
• Approved its statutory budget for 2015. The rough estimate of next year's finances is slightly higher than last year and will be discussed in more detail later this year.
• Entered executive session to discuss land acquisition, with no action following.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 11:17

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