Reason for salary increase

I work for a government entity. The employees that work for a part time hourly wage and the lowest paid of our full time employees make very little money. I am looking for information to give the Board of Trustees that will help them understand the need for an across the board raise in salary for these workers. I hope that they will understand that we expect a great deal of our employees: they meet with the public and have to have extensive computer skills. It is becoming problematic to find the skill level we need at the money we offer. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


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  • I would start by conducting a compensation survey of the same type jobs in other public jurisdictions of similar size in your area. As I am assuming we are talking about library workers, you might look at citys, school districts and other entities that have libraries. You can make it as simple or complicated as you want. You can compare only salary or look at total compensation (the value of health insurance, retirement contributions, leave time, etc.). We normally compare salary, health insurance and retirment contributions.

    Once you determine where you stand relative to your external comparators, you should look internally at other positions in your organization that require similar levels of education and experience. Although it may be tempting to address only this particular class of employees, you may impact organizational relationships if you do not look internally as well as externally.

    Other things to consider are turnover rate for that class of employees compared to your general work force and length of time it takes to fill one of these positions compared to filling another position in your organization.

    Lastly, you might consider recommending that the Board adopt a compensation policy for all positions. Do you want to lead market? Are you okay lagging the market? Our policy is to be within plus or minus 5% of market. However, we would make exceptions for positions that have a high turnover rate. Also, as we are unionized, negotiations will impact the salary of positions.
  • Library HR, greetings! :welcome:

    One other suggestion: Go up to the top of this page and do an "advanced search" for "salary survey." You'll find links to several dozen previous threads on the subject. In one, a Forumite recommends going to [URL=""][/URL] for help. Dunno if that's a good idea -- we have no connection to that site. But if you dig deeper into the Forum threads, you may find other suggestions that are helpful, too. tk

    p.s. DavidS, thanks for posting such a thoughtful and detailed response. One more and you hit the magic "300" mark!
  • In my limited experience with, their figures tend to be grossly inflated. In this case, it could help you make your case initially. However, I would still recommend against using them because it would damage your credibility in the long run if the numbers turn out to be as inaccurate as what I've seen in the past.

    I'm interested in what alliance you might be able to form with other HR folks in local government. I presume you work for a multi-branch library district... would that be correct? If so, you might contact other districts or the local municipal government to see if there are any parallels you can draw from.
  • Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful answers. I was already researching to see what other multi-branch libraries in my state pay for the same work (we are behind), but I wanted additional reasons, such as sometimes our part time employees are responsible for opening and closing branches or acting as a reference librarian, for which we pay barely over minimum wage. That is asking for a lot of skill and trust level for very little compensation and I see it in the quality of applicants that I am receiving. The computer skill level that our employees has to have grows daily: Internet, ILS, Wiki, Twitter, Flickr and they have to be able to keep up.

    I would like for the Board of Trustees to understand that in this very public setting, each of our employees become the "Library" to the public and we want to put our best foot forward.
  • Welcome Library HR!

    It sounds like you have already given this a lot of thought. Your comment about your employees being the library to the public is spot on. I would also do some turnover calculations so they can see what turnover is really costing. It is frequently a huge surprise to the higher ups.

    Good luck!

  • Welcome to the Forum Library HR!

    A couple of other sources for salary information are:



    The first one is the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and has wage information for about a gazillion occupations. The second is O*Net, developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. It has a multitude of information about jobs and wages. In fact, it's a great place to start if you need to create a job description for just about any type of position. If the positions you're championing don't have a good JD, I'd check out this site and create one and be sure to include it with your request to the higher ups. They need to know what these folks do and how much they contribute to the organization.

    Hope this helps.

  • Welcome Library HR!

    You've received a lot of good comments already. Just wanted to chime in that we completed and classification and compensation study a couple of years ago and found we were drastically lower than comparable gov't agencies...even after the Board made us throw out the highest payer. We weren't comparable in size to that agency, but frequently lost employees to them.
  • Unfortunately, libraries frequently have to battle the perception of bean-counters that they are an extraneous, 'feel-good' community service, and should feel fortunate they even exist.
  • [quote=ACU Frank;716810]Unfortunately, libraries frequently have to battle the perception of bean-counters that they are an extraneous, 'feel-good' community service, and should feel fortunate they even exist.[/quote]

    As opposed to accountants that the rest of us wish didn't exist? Except at tax time, of course, when we really need them to figure out our1040's.
  • Speak for yourself. I do my own taxes. I can't EVER imagine intentionally having a working relationship with an accountant.

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