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City looks at pay system revamp

Officials want to know if city is competing with private sector for talent.

July 05, 2011|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

City officials are embarking on a “new compensation philosophy” that will affect everything from salaries and benefits to job titles and merit bonuses.

An outside consultant could be brought in to help revamp the pay system by as early as August, roughly one year after officials said they started their search.

Part of the overhaul could include the way bonuses are handled in the future. Documents obtained by the Burbank Leader after filing a public records lawsuit against the city show employees got a collective $4 million since 2007 despite cuts to city services.

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Major Jess Talamantes said he would like to see a complete picture from whoever lands the job of putting together a new compensation strategy.

“I want to see everything, and would I like to see it touch on merit pay? Definitely,” Talamantes said.

Officials have said the bonus pay is critical in keeping and attracting top talent.

City spokesman Keith Sterling said the financial consultant would help establish a “new compensation philosophy,” to include job classifications, titles and levels of benefits.

Burbank currently bases many of its compensation decisions on a comparison to what other similarly sized cities do, a system that Sterling said probably would be examined. Officials also want to know if Burbank truly is competing with the private sector in terms of retaining and attracting top talent.

Any changes to bonus pay would have to be renegotiated with the employee unions.

But Talamantes noted that this is the fourth consecutive year employees will not be receiving pay increases.

 
 

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