The Greensboro City Council is holding a work session on “Compensation Matters” on Thursday, June 9.

City councilmembers have repeatedly said that their priority in the 2022-2023 budget is to ensure that city employees are adequately compensated.

The Greensboro Police Department is of particular concern.  The authorized force of sworn officers is 679 and currently the GPD has over 100 vacancies.  Based on the recent number of graduates of the Police Academy and the number of cadets in the current class, that number is due to rise.

According to the presentation at the work session, City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba is recommending that the starting salary for police officers be increased 7.4 percent from $41,513 to $44,583.  The current officers will also have salary adjustments to prevent compression.  According to the presentation, “Compression exists when the compensation of current employees fails to keep up with the compensation needed to attract less experienced employees.

“Compression also exists when there is too small a difference in compensation between leaders and their direct reports.”

The work session presentation also calls for increasing salaries for firefighters by 9 percent from $39,609 to $43,214 with corresponding increases in the Fire Department to prevent compression.

According to the presentation, the increases in Police and Fire department salaries would be paid for by increasing the proposed 66.25 cent tax rate by 1 cent.  The proposed 66.25 cent tax rate would result in a 30 percent property tax increase, the highest tax increase in the history of Greensboro.  It also maintains Greensboro as having the highest tax rate of any peer city in North Carolina.

The “Compensation Matters” presentation includes a 4 percent average salary increase for Guilford Metro 9-1-1 employees, plus a $3,600 annual night shift incentive.

Although city councilmembers regularly state that Greensboro city employees are underpaid, it doesn’t appear that the data from the presentation supports those statements.  According to the presentation:

  • “89 of 124 benchmark jobs are at or above market
  • “24 of 124 benchmark jobs are less than 10% below market (3 of 24 are in Police)
  • “10 of 124 benchmark jobs are more than 10% below market (7 of 10 are in Fire)”