LSBGHORZ

AGENDA MEMORANDUM

 

 

MEETING DATE:               November 22, 2010

 

FROM:                                   Jay M. Evans, City Manager

                                               

SUBJECT:                              Electric Department Recruitment and Retention Strategy

 

 

Staff Recommendation:

Staff recommends approval of the Electric Department Recruitment and Retention Strategy outlined below.

 

Analysis:

As discussed in City Commission Budget Workshops, the Electric Department is experiencing a crisis in recruitment and retention.  In the last two years, the department has lost four employees to SECO, one to Progress Energy, and one to the City of Ocala.  Four of the five were highly-skilled positions, requiring years of training to obtain certification and proficiency.  One of the positions, Operations Manager, remains unfilled after nearly two years due to a shortage of qualified applicants.  The department is now at risk of losing the three (3) most recent graduates of the City’s Apprentice Lineman Program.

 

Within the Lineman career path are the positions of Groundsman, Apprentice Lineman, Journeyman Lineman, and Electric Line Crew Leader.  Lineman positions require four (4) years of apprenticeship training, which costs the City $20,000 for 2,235 hours of classroom instruction and $39,559 in wages during those hours.  The City’s investment in a new journeyman lineman is easily $60,000, not including field training expenses. 

 

The City has struggled unsuccessfully to stem the loss of valuable talent (much of it home-grown) to better-paying utilities.  Some of this is due to poor wage rates versus the market, and some is due to the comparatively slow rate at which an average employee progresses through the Leesburg pay scale.  For example, a SECO Lineman makes $32.35/hr after 2 years of service, and a Leesburg Lineman makes $22.73 (assuming a 3% raise for each of the first two years).  This inequity has led to Leesburg becoming a training ground for future SECO linemen.

 

Other positions are also grossly underpaid versus the market.  For example, after screening job descriptions to ensure good comparisons, the entry level salary for a Substation Communications Technician is $15.09/hr, while Ocala, Lakeland, Gainesville, and Ft. Pierce pay their employees $18.93, $22.11, $22.80, and $24.96 respectively.  Meter Technicians in Leesburg start at $15.09/hr, whereas Lakeland, Kissimmee, and Gainesville pay $18.64, $22.26, and $17.60.  And even though Leesburg Electric is fast becoming an industry leader among municipal providers, our own Director’s salary is at least $20,000 under the market.

 

These are all examples of why Leesburg Electric is losing talent to other utilities.  This is happening at a time when the good employees who serve us have delivered drastically reduced prices to our customers, obtained $12M in grants for Smart Grid infrastructure, created $1.5M in savings due to new demand response initiatives, and garnered national media attention for Leesburg’s innovative programs.  It is clear that the utility’s ratepayers are being well-served by our employees, but are our employees being compensated fairly?

 

To combat this loss, and to improve market competitiveness, two actions are proposed.  The first is to implement the Enterprise Performance Incentive Program (discussed under separate cover).  The second is to make market adjustments to current pay grades, which are proposed as follows:

 

Position                       Current Paygrade         Proposed Paygrade     

Director                                   142                              147

Superintendent                                    137                              139

Operations Mgr.                      137                              139

Elec. Sys. Dispatch Super.      131                              135

Elec. Sr. Systems Operator     129                              133

Elec. Systems Operator           127                              131

Substation Comm. Tech. II     129                              134

Substation Comm. Tech. I      122                              127

Electric Service Planner          129                              131

Electric Line Crew Leader       133                              L4

Contract Supervisor                 133                              L4

Service Technician                  132                              L3

Electric Lineman                     131                              L2

Electric Lineman Apprentice  (existing percentage of Lineman salary)

Groundsman                            114                              L1

Meter Technician                    122                              127

Meter Supervisor                     133                              129 (downgrade from 133)                 

Electric Technician II             120                              122

Electric Technician I               118                              120

 

New paygrades L1 through L4 (“L” is for the Lineman career path) are proposed to be created due to market comparisons.  Market comparisons indicate an increase is needed in the minimum salary, but the maximums of the City’s existing paygrades would be too high.

 

Grade              Min.                 Max.                            Annual Min.                Annual Max.

L4                    $34.01             $37.16                         $70,740                       $77,292

L3                    $26.05             $35.88                         $54,184                       $74,464

L2                    $25.05             $34.61                         $52,104                       $71,988

L1                    $11.97             $17.57                         $24,897                       $36,545

 

The effective date of the proposed changes is October 1, 2010.  It is expected that the above proposed changes would mitigate the current disparity between Leesburg and market salaries, and would provide further incentive for existing employees to remain with the City of Leesburg.

 

Options:        

1.  Approve the proposed pay plan as presented; or

2.  Other such action as the Commission may deem appropriate.

 


Fiscal Impact:

The most conservative estimate (highest possible amount )of financial impact is $232,839.  By comparison, the contribution to unrestricted cash for FY 2010-2011 is expected to be $2,030,049.  This change would be processed in the next budget amendment, the effective date would be October 1, 2010.

 

Submission Date and Time:    11/23/10 8:58 AM____

 

 

 

 

Department: Administration

Prepared by:  Jay M. Evans, City Manager

Attachments:  Yes__X__   No ______

Advertised:   __ ___Not Required _X____                     

Dates:   ____________________________                     

Newspapers:_______________________                                                     

 

 

Reviewed by: ________

Finance  Dept. __________________                                     

                              

Deputy C.M. ___________________                                                                         

Submitted by:

City Manager ___________________

 

Account : _____________________

No. Project No.  _______________

WF No.

Budget : ______________________   

Available _____________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

RESOLUTION NO._______________

 

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA, ADOPTING THE ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION STRAGEGY; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:

 

1.       THAT  the City hereby adopts the Electric Department Recruitment Strategy  as outlined in the attached memorandum, inclusive of the following pay grade changes:

 

            Position                                      Current Paygrade         Proposed Paygrade     

Director                                                  142                              147

Superintendent                                       137                              139

Operations Mgr.                                     137                              139

Elec. Sys. Dispatch Super.                     131                              135

Elec. Sr. Systems Operator                    129                              133

Elec. Systems Operator                          127                              131

Substation Comm. Tech. II                    129                              134

Substation Comm. Tech. I                     122                              127

Electric Service Planner                         129                              131

Electric Line Crew Leader                      133                              L4

Contract Supervisor                                133                              L4

Service Technician                                 132                              L3

Electric Lineman                                                131                              L2

Electric Lineman Apprentice         (existing percentage of Lineman salary)

Groundsman                                           114                              L1

Meter Technician                                   122                              127

Meter Supervisor                                                133                              129 (down from 133) 

Electric Technician II                            120                              122

Electric Technician I                              118                              120

 

New paygrades L1 through L4 (“L” is for the Lineman career path) are proposed to be created due to market comparisons.  Market comparisons indicate an increase is needed in the minimum salary, but the maximums of the City’s existing paygrades would be too high.

 

Grade                 Min.                 Max.                Annual Min.           Annual Max.

L4                       $34.01             $37.16             $70,740                       $77,292

L3                       $26.05             $35.88             $54,184                       $74,464

L2                       $25.05             $34.61             $52,104                       $71,988

L1                       $11.97             $17.57             $24,897                       $36,545

 

 

2.      THAT the pay grade changes be retroactive to October, 1, 2010.

3.      THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.

 

PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the __22nd___ day of November, 2010

 

 

 

                                                                            __________________________

                                                                             Mayor

 

ATTEST:

 

 

__________________________

City Clerk