- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The City of Greenville is spending $10,845 to determine the competitiveness of its current salary levels for city workers.

John C. Stennis Institute of Government will conduct the study.

The Delta Democrat Times reports (http://bit.ly/1hLUgTM ) that Mayor John Cox broke a tie vote of the city council Tuesday to approve the study.

Cox says the institute will look at all Greenville positions and compare the job description and salary to comparable cities, counties and industries.

“Any study is going to tell us what we know: We have overworked and underpaid employees,” said Council member Errick Simmons said.

Once the study is completed, Simmons said all employees will have a document showing what they should be getting paid.

Simmons said the council should “pledge to look at salaries” at the next budget season.

Councilman Tommy Benson said the mayor and council are not experts on salaries.

“This would take away the burden of having the council decide what department heads would be paid or what city workers would be paid,” Benson said. “I think it’s fair to have this group come in and make those choices so we know where we are (compared with other municipalities).”

Cox said the city needs an independent third party to do the study.

What the city is not agreeing to in going forward with the survey is giving pay increases to all employees, Cox said.

Instead, Cox said the study will provide a way to figure out, before budget sessions begin in July, if individual employees or department heads should be paid more or less and if the city should give across-the-board pay increases or decreases.

___

Information from: Delta Democrat Times, http://www.ddtonline.com

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