The Austin City Council addressed a resolution to approve the implementation of certain components of a classification and compensation study at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening at the Austin City Council chambers.
The council first approved the study in March of 2017, and City Administrator Craig Clark stated that the study, the first conducted for the City of Austin in over 25 years, was being done to ensure internal consistency and to see how Austin compares to other cities in regards to market compensation. Clark stated to the council that the approval of the implementation of certain components of the study were necessary to approve a contract with Law Enforcement Labor Services, who represent the Austin Police Department for the years 2020-2022. He went on to add that the plan would also be applicable to all city positions and pending eventual approval of the various bargaining groups as well as non-union employees would populate the overall pay structure for the city. Clark also requested that the council approve a resolution for the City Attorney’s annual salary adjustment for the years 2020-2022, with the same 2% adjustment for January 1st of each year.
The council approved the resolution to implement certain components of the classification and compensation study on a vote of 6-1, with councilman Jason Baskin casting the lone no vote. Baskin stated that he voted no due to the possibility of double digit tax increases for citizens of the city of Austin if the study was implemented, also due to the fact that some city employees could see wage increases of 20-30% which would restrict investment back into the city for its future needs. Other council members stated that the study would enable the City of Austin to be competitive with other cities in terms of salaries, and that it would also help attract and keep good employees with the city for longer durations. The Austin City Council then unanimously approved a resolution approving a labor agreement and memorandum of agreements between the city and Law Enforcement Labor Services, Inc., and they also approved a resolution for the administration of the wage rate for the City Attorney. The resolution was approved on a vote of 6-0, with councilwoman Laura Helle abstaining from the vote.