The City of Palo Alto's group of managers and professionals would get a 2 percent raise this year under an agreement the council is set to consider Monday night.
At the same time, the city is conducting a study that will help determine a new salary schedule by bringing local salaries in line with those from other cities.
The roughly 200 managers and professionals belong to the only major labor group that is not represented by a union. Their benefit adjustments are typically pegged to those of the employees represented by the Service Employees International Union, Local 521.
The goal of the salary adjustment and the ongoing study is to help Palo Alto attract top employees, according to a new report from the Human Resources Department.
"The City of Palo Alto seeks to attract and engage employees with the expertise and experience we need, who are passionate about their work for the City and feel valued for it," the report states. "To attract and retain skilled staff, the City should adopt a total compensation plan that brings current salary ranges and benefits to the market median of our benchmark cities."
Once the study is complete, the city would peg managers' salaries to within 20 percent of the median of 14 benchmark cities, including Mountain View, Santa Clara and Redwood City. Thus, the minimum salary for any position would be 20 percent below the midpoint range of its classification, while the maximum would be 20 percent above the classification. The Management and Professionals group includes 114 total classification, according to the report.
A study this year by the firm Koff & Associates, which collected data for 82 classifiations, showed that many classifications already have a compensation "at or near the market median." Some, however, fall over or under the median mark.
Under the proposal, any compensation adjustments that would fall above the midpoint mark would have to be approved by the department director and Chief People Officer Kathryn Shen, director of Human Services Department. The city manager or other council-appointed officers will also have discretion to approve salaries that exceed the midpoint by more than 10 percent.