Library District to implement new pay grade scale

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The Grand County Library District board members recently approved a new pay grade scale for district employees at their February meeting.

The new pay grade scale will be implemented on April 1, 2017 and will cost the district approximately $22,000 for 12 months.  Administrative positions will see the biggest increase in order to align them with the minimum ranges of the salary analysis completed by Mountain States Employee Council (MSEC).  MSEC, a compensation consultation firm, was commissioned by the Grand County Library District to analyze the library district’s pay structure and to make comparisons with other library districts who have similar positions.

Grand County Library District Executive Director, Stephanie Ralph explained in a press release, “As a starting point, MSEC took GCLD job descriptions and compared them to equitable positions in similarly sized Library Districts and non-profits in the region. A set of salary ranges were proposed for each grade of job descriptions. Starting in April, the Board approved that all GCLD employee will be positioned on this scale range. This will involve pay increases for seven members of staff who are currently receiving salaries below minimum.”

According to MSEC’s report, the largest disparity between the minimum salary range found in the library districts such as East Routt, Estes Valley, Garfield County, High Plains, Mesa County, Poudre River, Pueblo City-County, Rangeview and San Miguel was in the area of technical support with the GCLD district paying $7,878 less than other districts.  The executive director position was within $1,405 of the suggested minimum for 12 months.  Other year salary increases based on job descriptions and the comparison study were: director of public services – $5352, the director of finance and human resources – $3917, the director of library resources and technology – $2752, and Granby Branch Manager – $1139.  Incidentally, the majority of branch librarians earned salaries already above the suggested minimum and did not need to be adjusted.

In addition to the new pay grade, hourly employees were raised to $12 per hour.

Ralph called the new system invigorating and powerful saying it will be based on performance and will be more predictable.  Ralph noted that the pay for administration positions was originally too flat and GCLD salaries had been disrupted with cost of living adjustments.  A recent staff survey also acknowledged salary issues citing, “Staff morale was affected by lack of an organizational approach to salaries.”

Administration also reduced their weekly hours in response to a projected budget crisis and before the Mill Levy for a 0.95 property tax increase was passed in November.  These positions still remain fewer than 40 hours a week.

Ralph stated the performance pay would be aligned with strategic goals that are being developed and reviewed.  GCLD board members will also update the staff package in the near future.  Benefits for the district’s employees now include medical, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, and family and medical leave. 

Another incentive the GCLD has offered its employees is tuition reimbursement.  In January 17 meeting minutes, it was reported that GCLD had reimbursed $14,000 in tuition requests for its employees.

The projected 2017 GCLD budget had been approved in December of 2016 and had not taken into account the new salary increases, but it had predicted the passage of the Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA).

FLSA stated that salaried employees who have executive, administrative, or professional duties and are paid less than $47,476 per year would be subject to overtime if they worked more than 40 hours per week. In response to FSLA, the library district’s 2017 personnel budget was increased by 5%.  In November, a federal judge blocked the Department of Labor from implementing FLSA. However, the library district budget was not readjusted which allowed for the new pay grade to be applied in the 2017 fiscal year.

GCLD board president Mary Chance comments, “Sustainability for the district is an important goal for us. Part of that is making sure we can retain and recruit quality employees. We have an amazing team right now but staff changes and people move on. We need to be sure that in the future when the district faces staff openings, we are able to recruit candidates that meet the level of quality our taxpayers expect. Additionally, we owe it to our current employees to provide them with fair compensation for the work they do. This new employee compensation strategy will bring the district more in line with what we are seeing within the industry and will provide district employees with solid goals that reward a high level of service.”

The next Grand County Library District board meeting will be on Tuesday, March 21 at the Granby Library at 5:30 p.m.  GCLD board members are Mary Chance, Ann Douden, Nancy Knoohuizen, Carol Hunter, Marcus Davis, Sally Leclair and Jim Sloan.