Compensation Issues

Initiative #3

FY21-22 PAY STUDY

SAVING LIVES & PROPERTY IN GSO CREATES A LIFETIME OF FINANCIAL PAIN

The Problem

$290,095

Amount that a Greensboro Firefighter will lose over the course of their career vs the average pay in other NC cities of similar size.

Firefighters in the City of Greensboro are the lowest paidamong their peers in cities of similar size across NC. Over the course of an average career in Greensboro this results in a loss of $290k for firefighters vs their peers and a subsequent additional $193k loss vs their peers over a 20-yr retirement.

Currently, Greensboro measures pay against a large group of cities with varying size and demographics. Including smaller cities in this comparision reduces our competitiveness by causing salaries to lag peer cities which we compete with for services, staff, and development. While starting with somewhat competitive salaries in each pay band, staff quickly lag those around them by taking annual steps less than 1/2 the average of their peers. This results in as much as a $125k loss vs their peers within the rank of Engineer alone.

Additionally, beginning in 2014, Greensboro has used a unique staffing structure that includes an additional officer rank vs our peer cities: the Lieutenant. Only 2 municipalities in the state include this additional officer rank in their pay structure. Including the rank of Lieutenant in our pay structure causes 15 employees in temporary positions to artificially hold down the pay of the 400+ positions below them while offering no additional organizational value to the department outside of what the position of Captain already offers.

Recruitment is at an all-time low, with an 83% drop in applications in the last 5-years. All cities are competing for talent to support the growth of development. Peer cities are aggresively increasing salaries. Greensboro risks a very real chance of being left systemically behind and struggling to employ a staff of talented and motivated fire fighters. As the Weaver Fertilizer Fire in Winston recently proved, it is imperitive to recruit and retain individuals competent to handle the life safety risks and liability associated with events like these to support the business development and financial security of the City of Greensboro.

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