WILMINGTON -- Are Wilmington city employees being paid what they're worth? A costly new study will try to answer that question. The Wilmington City Council decided Tuesday night to hire a company to study the salaries of all city employees to see if they're comparable with employees for other cities. The study will cost $220,000, which will come out of Wilmington's general fund. It will look at the salaries of Wilmington's employees, including police officers, firefighters and engineers. The results of the study are expected to be released early next year, and if raises are recommended they would be worked into next year's budget. A major reason for the study is to help Wilmington stay competitive with other cities and the private sector. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said, "We're having a tough time in competition with the private sector. So we want to make sure that the adjustments we make in everybody's pay is reflective of what the private sector is also doing, so we can recruit people to work for the city." In addition to the pay study, City Manager Sterling Cheatham as well as the City Attorney and city clerk will be receiving pay increases. They work at the discretion of the city council, which has the authority to decide their pay scale. Wilmington fire firefighters have complained for years about their salaries. They recently completed a study of their own that concluded their pay scale was 42-percent behind other comparable cities.
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