WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - We've learned 25 Wilmington city employees, 16 of which work for the Wilmington Police Department, have filed appeals requesting that the city recalculate their salaries.
In July, when city leaders approved a 2% pay increase for employees, they also gave "pay compression" increases which opened the door for these appeals.
Pay compression happens when a new employee is hired and makes more money than someone already in that position.
Because city employees have gone without pay raises for a few years, some new WPD employees are actually making more than others who have been on the job for several years.
Dylan Lee, a spokesperson with the city, said those who have been in their current job for 2-4 years were given compression increases of 1% or 2%.
Still, some in the department are appealing because they say there is a big discrepancy in salaries within the department. In some cases, we're told those who are at a higher rank are making less than those reporting to them. Officers we talked to off camera say it's a morale issue.
Lee said the city is working to address the issue.
"Addressing compression this year is a first step," said Lee. "We know there are issues but you can only address those when you have the money to address them."
Councilwoman Laura Padgett said the city needs to reevaluate its pay scale but there's no money to pay for a consultant to study it right now, let alone increase pay by any more than they already did.
The city's HR department is reviewing the appeals. Lee is not sure just how long it will take to address the appeals.
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