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Study says city of Farmington should be paying higher wages

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news Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

A recent study of the salaries of city of Farmington employees suggests that a few changes be made to the salary structure to bring local wages more in line with market standards.

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Conducted by the consultant group Fox Lawson, the wage study findings were presented to the Farmington City Council at a workshop in October. The study indicates that many of Farmington’s salaries are under the market average and should be adjusted to be more competitive.

City staff and council members are still wading through all of the information presented by Fox Lawson, city administrator David McKnight said. Not only are council members going to be asked to consider some of the suggestions offered by the consultant, but the information will also be a key component in the labor negotiations that started last week.

The city of Farmington is negotiating contracts with the city’s two AFSCME units and the police officers’ union, McKnight said. Council members met in closed session following Monday’s regular council meeting to discuss early negotiation strategy.

The city’s union representatives have all received copies of the Fox Lawson study.

The consultant recommended Farmington change its salary structure to an 11-step structure, which would allow for several step increases at various levels within the organization. Doing so would mean increasing payroll almost across the board for city staff.

In developing the 2014 budget, McKnight figured in some salary adjustments for city staff, knowing that several contracts would be negotiated this year.

“I’m comfortable with the adjustments I made in the 2014 budget for staff,” he said.

Council members will meet again to revisit the wage study and determine whether to adopt Fox Lawson’s suggestions. Those discussions will happen in the coming weeks, McKnight said.

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