Question # 27: Can you please provide an update of FY 2021 Budget Question 56: Update comparator information for Police, Fire, Sheriff and General Scale employee pay?

Page updated on Apr 8, 2021 at 10:57 AM

Question:

Can you please provide an update of FY 2021 Budget Question 56, including FY 2022 cost estimates for the targeted pay adjustments that were included in the City Manager’s proposed FY 2021 budget and subsequently removed due to COVID revenue impacts? (Mayor Wilson)


Response:

The charts on the following pages depict pay comparisons based on the following:

• The results of the FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study, which depicts a comparison of average midpoints for approved FY 2021 pay ranges for both the City of Alexandria and the comparator jurisdictions. These results are in Column “FY 2021 Benchmark Study” of each chart.
• Comparison of the compensation enhancements in the City of Alexandria’s originally proposed FY 2021 budget against the FY 2022 compensation proposals in the comparator jurisdictions. This comparison of average midpoints is included in the Column labeled “FY 2021 Alexandria Proposals”.

With FY 2021 Budget revision 2.0, the compensation changes originally proposed, including the targeted pay increases for several Public Safety job classifications as well as the City-wide 1.5% pay scale increase, were eliminated in the FY 2021 adopted budget due to the ongoing public health crisis and one resulting in a dramatic drop in revenues.  

The FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study shows that comparator jurisdictions have made compensation adjustments to some of their Public Safety job classifications that have either occurred since the City Manager proposed the targeted and City-wide increases last year or are proposed to occur as part of the FY 2022 budget cycle. As a result of this additional shift in the market, some of the City's job classifications not originally included in the FY 2021 proposed targeted adjustments now exceed the +/- 5% threshold.

The City Manager’s proposed FY 2022 budget outlines two alternative budget scenarios, with the high-end scenario that assumes maintaining real estate taxes at the current rate of $1.13, which would produce $13.0 million in additional revenue above what is included in the FY 2022 proposed budget. This scenario includes a one-percent (1%) City employee one-time bonus with the estimated cost to General Fund of $1.7 million These enhancements would partially address the above-mentioned City employee pay misalignment with the market. ACPS has budgeted a 1% bonus utilizing new state funds.

Public Safety Pay Competitiveness: Police

Based on the results of the FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study, Police Captains and Police Lieutenants show the most significant deviation from the midpoint of the market that exceeds the City’s target of aligning with the average of the market (+/-5% of the average). Despite some classifications deviating from the average of the market, the average deviation of all classifications aligns with the market (+/-5% of the average).

After accounting for the 1.5% increase to the pay scale and targeted increases of two grades each for Police Captains and Police Lieutenants included in the City’s originally proposed FY 2021 budget, all classifications on the police pay scale would be aligned with the midpoint of the market after factoring in the proposed FY 2022 compensation changes in the comparator jurisdictions, and the average deviation from the midpoint would be below the average by 0.56%.
FY 2022 Budget Q and A Table 1 Q027

* No equivalent matches identified in the comparator market.

** Includes the 1.5% across-the-board pay scale adjustment initially proposed in the FY 2021 budget.

Public Safety Pay Competitiveness: Sheriff

Based on the results of the FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study, Chief Deputy Sheriff’s, Deputy Sheriff Captains, Deputy Sheriff Lieutenants, Deputy Sheriffs III, and Deputy Sheriffs II show the most significant deviation from the midpoint of the market that exceeds the City’s target of aligning with the average of the market (+/-5% of the average).  If the Chief Deputy Sheriff classification were to move to the Executive pay scale, and despite some classifications deviating from the average of the market, the average deviation of all classifications aligns with the market (+/-5% of the average).

After moving the Chief Deputy Sheriff to the executive pay scale, applying the proposed 1.5% increase to the pay scale, and applying targeted increases of one grade for Deputy Sheriff Captains and Deputy Sheriff Lieutenants, as included in the City’s originally proposed FY 2021 budget, and after accounting for the proposed FY 2022 compensation changes in the comparator jurisdictions, the average deviation from the midpoint would fall within +/-5% of the average at -1.85%.

FY 2022 Budget Q and A Table 2 Q027

Note: Chief Deputy Sheriff classification was off -20.17% and was proposed to move to the Executive pay scale.

** Includes the 1.5% across-the-board pay scale adjustment initially proposed in the FY 2021 budget.

Public Safety Pay Competitiveness: Fire

Based on the results of the FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study, Deputy Fire Chiefs, Fire Battalion Chiefs, Fire Captains, and Firefighter I's and III’s show the most significant deviation from the midpoint of the market that exceeds the City’s target of aligning with the average of the market (+/-5% of the average). Due to the classifications deviating from the average of the market, the average deviation of all classifications does not align with the market.

After applying the proposed 1.5% increase to the pay scale, moving the Deputy Fire Chief to the executive pay scale, and applying a targeted increase of one grade for Firefighter I’s and accounting for the proposed FY 2022 compensation changes in the comparator jurisdictions, the average deviation from the midpoint falls within +/-5% of the average at -4.46%. 

FY 2022 Budget Q and A Table 3 Q027

Note: Deputy Fire Chief classification was off -23.01% and was proposed to move to the Executive pay scale.

** Includes the 1.5% across-the-board pay scale adjustment initially proposed in the FY 2021 budget.

Public Safety Pay Competitiveness: Fire Marshals/Medics

Based on the results of the FY 2021 Public Safety Benchmark Study, classifications on the Fire Marshal/Medic pay scales meet or exceed the average midpoint in the market.

After accounting for the 1.5% increase to the pay scale as included in the City’s originally proposed FY 2021 budget as well as for the proposed FY 2022 compensation changes in the comparator jurisdictions, classifications on this pay scale continue to meet or exceed the average of the market, with the average deviation from the midpoint exceeding the average by 7.58%. As noted below there are substantial positive deviations for single-role medics. This statistic is not meaningful as there are few single role medic positions in the DC region as nearly all of the region is on a dual role status.

FY 2022 Budget Q and A Table 4 Q027

** Includes the 1.5% across-the-board pay scale adjustment initially proposed in the FY 2021 budget.

  General Schedule Pay Competitiveness  

 The average deviation of benchmarked classifications on the general pay scale is currently aligned with the average of the midpoint of the market at -4.06% (within +/-5% of the average).

After accounting for the 1.5% increase to the pay scale as included in the City’s originally proposed FY 2021 budget, the average deviation from the midpoint is aligned with the average at -2.52%.

FY 2022 Budget Q and A Table 5 Q027

** Includes the 1.5% across-the-board pay scale adjustment initially proposed in the FY 2021 budget.

Updated Cost of Public Safety Targeted Pay Increases

The original FY 2021 City Manager-proposed budget included targeted pay adjustments for several public safety job classifications, which were removed from the adopted budget in FY 2021 in the wake of the fiscal gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The targeted pay increases included: moving the Deputy Fire Chief and the Chief Deputy Sheriff classifications to the executive pay scale; targeted increases of two grades each for Police Captains and Police Lieutenants; and targeted increases of one grade each for Fire Fighter I’s, Deputy Sheriff Captains and Deputy Sheriff Lieutenants. The estimated cost of the targeted Public Safety adjustments, if they were to be implemented in FY 2022, would be $0.96 million.

Updated Cost of City-Wide Pay Scale Adjustments

The original FY 2021 City Manager-proposed budget also included a 1.5% adjustment to all employee pay scales, which was removed from the adopted FY 2021 budget as a result of the fiscal implications of the public health crisis. The estimated General Fund cost of the adjustment, if it were to be implemented in FY 2022, would be $3.43 million.

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