Mandeville often exceeds market maximums in pay scales
Consultant recommends bringing ‘incumbents’ to market range
Report does not address average pay by position compared to market averages; focuses on pay ranges
City pays 9.5% employee share into retirement system while other municipalities do not
City health benefits exceed those in region
Mandeville Police entry-level pay lags well behind others
Updated November 19, 2021, at 8:25AM: Add critics’ and proponents’ positions on Mandeville’s arrangement for paying employee’s retirement system portion against the findings of the report.
MANDEVILLE — The long-awaited salary survey report, commissioned by the City of Mandeville in early 2021 was presented to the City Council tonight (November 18th) by representatives from SSA Consultants of Baton Rouge, the firm that conducted the survey.
One of the main takeaways from the report is that by position, Mandeville’s entry-level pay — especially for police — is consistently below that of other municipalities and entities in the market region, including Covington, Slidell, Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish and the Louisiana State Police, according to SSA Consultants representative Cody Saucier, who made the presentation to the council tonight.
However, the report also reveals that Mandeville has higher maximums in most of those same positions than the market maximums. The report does not compare average or current salaries by position in Mandeville to equivalent market averages by position.
Fifty-five of the 66 positions analyzed have hourly minimums below the market hourly minimums, but 33 of those have maximums that exceed the market maximums.
The report notes that the City of Mandeville does not necessary have current employees at either the minimum or maximum for each position, but 41 of the current 100 employees are paid below the market-based minimums for their positions.
While Mandeville has lower entry-level wages, the city’s pay ranges for a majority of these positions are broader or greater than the market values being compared.
Health benefits for Mandeville’s workers are significantly better than most in our market, with no premiums for individuals and only $60 per month for families. The city’s employees also enjoy a $0 annual in-network deductible while all other municipalities in the comparison — Covington, Slidell, Hammond and Tangipahoa Parish — have in-network deductibles ranging from $1,500 to $3,000.
The report also touched on retirement system contributions. Mandeville participates in the Municipal Employee Retirement System of Louisiana (MERS), Plan A, which is the more expensive of the two plans offered. The employee contribution is 9.5% tax deferred income. The city pays 27.75% based on employee earnings.
However, Mandeville pays the employee’s share in addition to the city’s share. The other municipalities in this report do not. Critics of such an arrangement argue that Mandeville’s employees in effect receive 9.5% more than their listed salaries. Proponents of the arrangement argue that this helps offset the low-end pay gap compared to the other municipalities.
The report makes four recommendations:
- Establish salary ranges with current market-based minimums and maximums for all job positions: These ranges should be market-based.
- Conduct market-based compensation review every three to five years: The salary ranges should be updated regularly, every three-to-five years.
- Institute a limit to total sick leave accumulation: Currently, Mandeville doesn’t cap how much sick time can be accrued.
- Bring incumbents into the market range: The city should bring the 41 current employees who fall below these market minimums up to par.
The council didn’t allow public comment after the presentation despite a few attendees in the audience wanting to do so. Council Chairman Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman told those in attendance that the contents of the report will be addressed at future meetings where public comment will be allowed. The Louisiana Open Meetings Law requires public bodies to allow public comment before votes are taken on agenda items.