FOLEY – Some Foley city employees will get a raise and all will have additional potential for future salary enhancements under a pay plan approved by the City Council.

The council voted to approve a pay classification plan that increases the salary range for municipal pay grades. 

The action came after a comprehensive study of Foley employee pay. 

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said Foley officials ordered the study to make certain that city employees receive appropriate pay and benefits.

“I would like to say it’s so important that these pay studies be done very accurately,” Hellmich said. “It helps us to be competitive in today’s job market and it is so critical that we stay competitive.”

Evergreen Solutions conducted the study. Jennifer Boswell, an Evergreen senior consultant, said the study included examining pay levels, classifications and comparing rates with other agencies. She said that while Foley has not conducted a pay study since 2018, most salary and benefits compared well with other areas.

“Overall, it was found to be really structurally sound,” she said. “The range spreads are consistent with industry standards.”

Boswell said that in the five years since the last pay study, some salaries have not kept pace with increased demands for services as the city has grown.

“Another common theme was that the salaries aren’t keeping up with the growth of the city with the growth exponentially,” she said. “The workload is also increasing. And then the cost of living is rising as well.”

As part of the study, Evergreen interviewed employees and supervisors throughout the city. Questions included job requirements and how demands have increased in the last five years. Recommendations approved by the City Council included increasing the entry level of compensation for pay grades and the upper level to allow more experienced employees to continue to receive salary increases.

Boswell said employees interviewed are also pleased with other city benefits, such as insurance. She said Foley ranked ahead of almost all other agencies in the comparison of benefits.

“We also did a benefit survey in conjunction with the salary survey and found out that really, by far, Foley’s benefit offerings are really better than most of the market peers,” she said.

While the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the council voted to put the pay changes into effect immediately. The changes will require a budget adjustment of $89,000 to cover the four pay periods remaining in the current fiscal year.