Smithfield to base bonuses on longevity and performance
By Vicky Campbell
The basic idea behind the plan was approved for the lead streets, lead water and sewer and lead parks, buildings and grounds positions, but some kinks will be worked out before it is solidified. Gass said he hopes the system can be refined and used for all city employees in the future.
"Your salary shouldn't just be based on the fact that you've been here a long time," he said.
Under the proposed system, salaries would be spelled out by researching what other cities in the state offer for similar positions. Smithfield would then set up a salary range for that position - that way employees would know from the beginning how far they can progress.
Within that range bonuses would be determined based on longevity and performance.
Longevity would be determined in two parts: how long the employee has been with the city and how long he or she has been in the same position.
Performance would be determined using a 10-step system to reward excellent work. Employees would not necessarily gain a step each year, Gass said.
In addition, bonuses would be offered for those who get certificates or special training beyond what's required, Gass said.
"All it does is it gives people some drive, some initiative, some incentive," said council member Jeffrey Gittons.
However, some council members said they were concerned about the details of the system.
Council member Launa Lundberg said she doesn't think it's fair for someone who does good work but who doesn't improve to lose money to the economy. She said the council should make sure everyone gets his or her cost of living increase each year.
"I think it's a great direction," Lundberg said.
But she said she wants to be sure some of the details are worked out.
The city currently uses a merit system with bonuses given every year
for excellent work, Gass said. However, employees have come to expect
their bonuses regardless, he said. His proposed system would encourage
employees to work for their bonuses.