Odessa City Employee Pay Raises To Bring Salaries in Line With Other Cities 1/28/14
CBS 7 News
January 28, 2014
ODESSA-Just months after a five percent pay raise for all city employees and appointed officials, The Odessa City Council voted tonight to increase salaries once again.
The city says it is struggling to fill positions and results of a new salary survey pointed to the need to bump up many salaries and make some major changes.
The $1.8 million worth of salary increases begin February 1 and efforts will be made to increase long-term employees’ salaries even more, with many falling below median salaries compared to other Texas cities.
The pay raises will range from a guaranteed two percent for all employees to as high as a 16 percent increase for its city finance director. The amount depends on how much it takes to get pay in line with other areas according to the survey.
"Right now it’s all about money and we need to be more competitive as a city to be able to provide the services that taxpayers expect,” said Odessa Mayor David Turner.
The 21-city survey also changes minimum salaries. Some jobs were further off from the average salaries than others -- resulting in a higher increase.
"Anything with CDL drivers because, in the oilfield, they can make more than $100,000,” Turner said. “Also our utilities workers and our street workers, these are some that we need to raise so we can fill the openings we have.”
Officials say it will help with the more than 100 employee shortage.
"I think it’s a good idea, they work hard and city employees need a little more,” said Odessa Resident Jessica.
“For West Texas, it’s a good thing,” said another Odessa resident.
The city says tax increases won't be needed.
"We actually have the money in the budget currently with all the increases in sales tax,” Turner said. “Our goal is not to have to raise taxes and we don’t plan to.”
Some employees, like police officers, are paid in line with averages, but will still get the two percent minimum.
Just to give you an example of those who will benefit the most—the lowest paid employees are street laborers, who will see an increase of nearly $3,000 a year.