Chapter 4 - Compensation

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CHAPTER 4- COMPENSATION

4.1 PAYDAYS

The City pays its employees by the 5th and by the 20th of each month.  If payday falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a Monday holiday, the City will distribute paychecks on the preceding Friday by 5:00 p.m. The City encourages an employee to authorize the City to deposit his or her net pay directly into his or her designated bank account.

4.2   Deductions.

The law requires the City to deduct money from the employee’s earnings.  The City will withhold from the employee’s paycheck those deductions required by law and any voluntary deductions authorized by the employee, applicable union contract, or statute. The employee must notify the payroll department by the 15th of the effective month of any changes or additions in deductions to receive the benefit of such changes that month.

4.3   Salary classification, grades, and pay rates.

(a)  Each job title within the City is classified, for salary, into one of the City’s classifications based on job qualifications, level of responsibility, difficulty, working conditions, skill hazard, and amount of supervision required for the specific position.  Each classification is assigned a range that corresponds to the general market conditions for a similar classification at other comparative Eastern Washington public entities.  From time to time, the City Council will establish, by resolution, which public entities are comparable to the City.
(b)  The pay range for each job classification is divided into 17 steps where the 9th step (middle point corresponds to the median salary by comparable public entities).  The median salary paid by comparable public entities will be the average of the high and low pay for each of the comparable public entities.  The City will use the AWC Salary & Benefit Survey as the primary source of information to determine the high and low pay.  The City Treasurer may use other sources to supplement this information as he or she deems necessary.  The differential between a step is 2.5% and the annual salary figure is rounded up to the nearest whole dollar.
(c)  Usually, new employees start their employment at the minimum salary range for their classification. However, a department head has the authority to hire up to the 9th step, if sufficient funding is available and the employee’s experience, training or proven capabilities warrants higher salary. Such authority is subject to approval by the Mayor.
(d)  Unless otherwise specified in a collective bargaining agreement, all City employees who receive a “meets expectations” performance evaluation are eligible for a step raise. Employees within 1-8 steps receiving an “exceeds expectations” performance rating are eligible for a two-step raise). Employees who receive a “below expectations” evaluation rating are not eligible for a step raise.  Eligibility for a step raise does not guarantee an employee will receive a step raise. The Mayor retains final discretion to grant a step raise.
(d)  An employee who receives a “below expectations” job evaluation may request to be reevaluated after a 90-day period but no later than six months from the original evaluation date.
(e)  All salary adjustments will take effect on January 1 of the year following the performance evaluation.

4.4    Longevity pay plan.

(a)  Full-time regular employees shall receive longevity pay based on the continuous length of service from the last date of hire.  Longevity pay shall be besides the employee's base rate of pay.
After   5 or more years of service, 1% per month
After 10 or more years of service, 2% per month
After 15 or more years of service, 3% per month
After 20 or more years of service, 4% per month
After 25 or more years of service, 5% per month
After 30 or more years of service, 6% per month

           (b)  Longevity pay begins on the employee’s anniversary date, prorated for the month, and paid on the next schedule pay date.

4.5   Tuition reimbursement policy for employees who are not members of a collective bargaining unit.

(a)  The City shall pay the cost of tuition for all courses the City requires an employee to attend.
(b)  For courses the City does not require an employee to attend, the City will reimburse employees for the tuition cost of a course, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)  The Mayor determines that the City has the financial capability to pay for the cost of tuition.
(2)  The Mayor determines, in advance of enrollment, that the proposed course directly applies to the employee’s job.
(3)  The proposed course is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
(4)  Payment shall occur when the employee provides a transcript, certification or some other document showing he/she has successfully completed the course and received a passing grade of B or better, provided that the City shall not pay more than $200 per credit hour.

(c)  Upon termination of employment, voluntary or involuntary, an employee must repay any tuition reimbursement the employee received from the City during the preceding two years.  Any sum due the City may be withheld from the employee’s last paycheck.

4.6   Travel expenses.  

 (a)  Authorization and General Policy.

 If a Department Head authorizes an employee to travel more than 40 miles from City Hall for city-related business, the City will advance or reimburse an employee for his or her travel expenses according to the per diem rates established by the US. General Services Administration. The City may be required to report a per-diem advancement or reimbursement on an employee’s W-2 form.

(b)  Use of Personal Vehicle.

 If an employee drives his/her private automobile, the City will reimburse the employee for mileage at the approved Internal Revenue Service rate for business miles.

Requests for reimbursements must be within the budget year the expense took place or for end of year expenses, within ten days of when the expense was incurred. No reimbursement requests will be authorized for any expenses taking place in a previous budget year except as described above.

(c)  Prepayment by City.

Certain prior anticipated employee expenses may be pre-paid by the City, upon appropriate notices to the Finance Department and prior approval by the Mayor. Appropriate forms for providing notice and request for prepayment of expenses shall be provided by the Finance Department, subject to approval by the Mayor. Such expense may include, but shall not be limited to, expenses for conferences, reserved hotel accommodations, seminars, air travel, etc.

          (d)  Use of City Credit Cards for Travel or Employee Expenses.

Upon specific prior approval by the Mayor, the Finance Department may issue a city credit card to an employee for use while traveling on city business. Obtaining a city credit card does not indicate pre-approval of expenses. City credit cards can be used only to pay for eligible transportation related costs such as fuel for a city-owned vehicle, airfare and parking fees.

If a credit card is used, the employee remains responsible for submitting detailed receipts and processing other trip expenses as otherwise set forth in this policy.

4.7   Compensation upon termination.

Subject to Section 7.3(g), unless the City lays off an employee for financial reasons or unless he/she retires, when an employee’s employment with the City ends, the employee will receive the following compensation:

(a)  Unpaid regular wages for all hours worked up to the time of termination.

(b)   Any overtime or holiday pay due.

(c)    Payment of any accrued but unused vacation time.

(d)    Payment of any accrued but unused compensatory time.

(e)    The payroll department will schedule an exit interview with the terminated employee to verify and confirm final compensation amounts and dispensation of final payment.

If the City lays off an employee for financial reasons or if an employee retires, the employee will receive the following additional compensation:

         (a)   Compensation for sick leave as set forth in Section 6.1(e).
          (b)  The payroll department will schedule an exit interview with the terminated employee to verify and confirm final  compensation amounts and dispensation of final payment.