SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Savannah is looking at ways to attract and retain top talent in all of their departments, and recently got the results of a study that presents options on how to do just that.
Representatives for at least one department say the study results still need some work. The Class and Compensation study took about nine months to finish, and took into consideration employee reviews, as well as feedback from department heads to see where the city is lacking, and how to best improve the city’s workforce experience.
Savannah city leadership put studying the classification and compensation of city employees at the forefront, realizing Savannah’s departments had fallen behind in attracting and retaining employees, particularly in the public safety realm. City Manager Pat Monahan told council at the last workshop that he believes the study presents options to fix that.
“This implementation will allow for the highest public safety rates in the entire region,” Monahan said.
The president of the Savannah Professional Fire Fighters Association, I.A.F.F Local 574, says that doesn’t necessarily mean the issues of pay compression for firefighters has been resolved with the study.
“The Savannah Professional Firefighters Association is pleased that the City of Savannah has invested time and energy into repairing a very flawed pay structure. However, the proposed pay plan neglects some of the major issues within the fire department. This is not a finished product, and it is our hope that further dialogue will address these chief concerns," said Johnny Hinton, IAFF Local 574.
Hinton points to the upcoming budget retreat as being one opportunity to keep the pay issues within the department in the conversation with city leaders.
Savannah Fire Rescue Chief Derik Minard told council at the workshop that when he first looked at the pay plan that he saw a lot that needed to be fixed. He followed that up and said the class and comp study is a step in the right direction that will move the department forward.
Overall, the cost to implement the results of the Classification and Compensation study across the board to all City of Savannah Departments - should council decide to use the recommendations - is an estimated $5.6 million.
The study recommendations would give Savannah PD the highest starting salary in the region.