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Apr 22, 2013 11:42 PM by Zach Thaxton

Springs police/fire in line for pay hikes, civilians may have to wait

Police in Colorado Springs appear poised to receive a pay raise this summer of 4.6 percent, on average, and firefighters can expect an average hike of 7.4 percent, according to recommendations made Monday to Colorado Springs City Council.  The board, newly-seated for its inaugural meeting and featuring six newcomers and only three incumbents, heard results of a study conducted by an outside firm analyzing the overall competitiveness of pay and benefits for Colorado Springs city employees compared to other benchmark cities.  The results found that, overall, Colorado Springs police and firefighters are currently paid less than counterparts in benchmark cities, but earn a more generous benefits package.  The study recommended that the city's sworn police and fire personnel receive pay raises effective June 2013.

The same study, however, did not reach a definitive conclusion regarding whether the city's civilian personnel should receive raises.  Chief of Staff Laura Neumann told council members that the firm selected for the study had a difficult time making comparisons to pay scales in other cities because of the incredibly numerous different classifications of jobs within the city's civilian ranks -- some 400 classifications.  Neumann said the lack of specific findings or recommendations was disappointing and a second firm is being tasked with making a new set of analysis and recommendations regarding the civlian ranks.  As such, the city's 1,100 civilian personnel, accounting for half of the city's employee ranks, will not receive salary increases at the same time as their counterparts in uniforms and badges.

"The civilians are disappointed with the findings, quite understandably," said City Human Resource Director Michael Sullivan.  "We have a timeline -- we're working toward the first of September to be able to have that information back for civilians."

 Councilors will also have to consider changes to the benefits package for employees, including overtime, sick time, holiday pay, and workers' compensation.  The full list of recommendations can be viewed on the agenda for Monday's informal City Council meeting (CLICK HERE).

City Council will make its first vote on the recommendations May 14.  A final vote is expected May 28.

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