MILTON, Ga. — The City Council approved changes Monday to its compensation and benefits plan for police and fire department employees, raising pay to more closely match that of surrounding jurisdictions.
A survey conducted by city staff found that Milton’s compensation of fire department and police personnel was below the rate of nearby cities and counties. The survey, which included 15 cities in five counties, including Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, found that Milton’s compensation was 4.2 percent lower than the market rate for fire department personnel and 8.1 percent lower for police.
Gathered from an average pay scale from the cities in the survey, the market rate for a police lieutenant was found to be $60,213 annually. The same position at Milton carried an annual salary of $50, 927, a difference of 15.42 percent. Milton’s rate for a firefighter was 4.2 percent lower than the market rate and 9.85 percent lower for a police officer.
The new grade and step compensation provides a set amount of compensation based on the current market rates, an employee’s tenure with the city and the amount of training they have received for positions within the police and fire departments.
The pay system aims to eliminate starting pay discrepancies among new employees while increasing compensation. It also provides predictability of pay, equity among staff, aids in the retention and recruitment of employees and allows the city’s pay scale to stay competitive with neighboring cities.
Employees will also receive a compensation package which includes health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as short- and long-term disability, worker’s compensation, tuition reimbursement and educational incentives.
“This system is designed to reward those that come to work every day and want to be here and continue to progress through their career,” said Steven Krokoff, Milton city manager. “By and large the response has been very positive.”
Employees can also elect to take advantage of a paid time off buyback program.
Employees can sell back 1-48 hours of paid time off, with a scale of amount sold back determining the compensation to the employee.
An employee selling back between 1-16 hours would receive 100 percent compensation and an employee selling back 48 hours would be compensated at 50 percent.