WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The City of Wilmington has settled 11 out of 29 salary appeals, according to city spokesperson Dylan Lee.
WECT first reported in August that dozens of city employees have filed appeals with the city about their salaries.
All who filed appeals were in the police and fire departments.
This issue started in July, when city leaders approved a two-percent pay increase for employees.
They also opened the door for what is called "pay compression" increases.
Pay compression happens when a new employee is hired at a certain classification and makes more money than those who are already in that position.
In the police department, this meant some new captains are making more than others in that same position who have been working there for years.
Police department employees who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity said that the issue is impacting morale at the department.
"People have been in the same position for a number of years," said Lee. "They find themselves potentially underpaid relative to people who are newer to that position. That's essentially what compression is. Certainly, pay is an issue and council is aware of that."
The city's Human Resources department reviewed the appeals from employees and found that 11 were eligible for pay increases. Of those 11, 10 were in the fire department and one was a police officer.
The only factor HR considered when settling the cases was an employees length of time in their job. For those who have been in a position for more than four years, they received a two-percent pay increase. Those on the job between two and four years received a one-percent bump in pay.
Those eligible for compression adjustments received one percent or two percent salary increases on top of their 2 percent salary increase.
"I believe that city council recognizes that a lot of the staff, particularly in public safety are paid below market value and they did what they could in this year's budget," said Lee. "They just take that year by year when they create the budget."
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