The City of Meridian is operating under a 1991 payband, and Mayor Bland recently released a letter stating that 66 employees will have to have their salaries reduced due to being outside the payband. The city council and administration are coming together to see how this problem can be resolved and how to be fair with all of the nearly 500 city employees.
“I think that the city council should empower civil service to have more checks and balances over how employees get their pay increase, because what we have is a situation where there is no fairness. So, there’s large discrepancies to who gets pay increases and what the amounts are, and there doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason to that.” -Weston Lindemann, Ward 5
Lindemann doesn’t think the administration can be trusted, however, the council does all agree on one suggestion that has been made. While the council disagrees on how paybands should be dealt with, they do all agree on freezing everyone’s salary as they are right now and having everything resolved by January 1st.
“That’s one reason why I recommended we put things in place for January 1st, so if we come to a conclusion next week, at least individuals will have time to make adjustments as need. It’s a hard thing to have to do, however, if we had been following the policies and procedures we have in place, we wouldn’t even be here right now.” -Kim Houston, Vice Pres., City Council
A street division supervisor with the city who is attending these meetings says the morale within Public Works workers has been down and that freezing the salaries will keep their spirits up and that hopefully raises will be given in the future.
“It’s a burden on their families. All the guys that I have are family men. With them having children, its greatly affecting them.” -Bill Barfield, Sr. Supervisor, Street Division
The council plans to discuss the MSU Stennis Institute payband structure that gives newer salary rates based on the modern market.