Local News

Fayetteville Mayor Proposes Merit Pay for Employees

Posted April 7, 2008 6:21 p.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2008 6:41 p.m. EDT

— Mayor Tony Chavonne wants city employees who rely on a cost-of-living raise each year to start proving their worth under a merit-based system he has proposed.

Each of Fayetteville's 1,500 city employees gets an annual raise between 4 percent and 5 percent to meet the rising cost of living.

Chavonne, though, said he would like to see that raise be awarded, instead, according to job performance. Raises would start at 1 percent and go up to more than 5 percent for exceptional employees.

"We're trying now to tie pay to your performance," Chavonne said. He added that a pay-per-performance statute is already on the books but has not been enforced.

Chavonne said he believes the city should operate more like a private company and base workers' salaries on annual evaluations.

"If you are evaluated high and you are doing a better job, it would literally mean something to you and mean something to your pocketbook," he said.

City Councilman Bobby Hurst Jr. said he has heard concerns about job performance in some city departments.

"You don't want to let anybody go, but you don't want to give them a 4 percent raise if they're not performing," Hurst said.

City employees, who did not want to appear on camera, told WRAL said they feared a merit-based system could exacerbate conflicts with supervisors.

Councilman Charles Evans expressed his agreement with those workers' concerns.

"It's got to be fair," Evans said. "Just say, for instance, you have a supervisor that's not too fond of that employee. Will that employee receive the raise that they should receive or not?"

If city leaders decide to implement a merit-based system, it will be included in the next city budget due July 1.