Town of Palm Beach News

Council Increases Public-Safety Employee Pay

Last week, the Palm Beach Town Council took action to make the pay of police and firefighters in the town of Palm Beach competitive with neighboring municipalities, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

Last Tuesday the council decided to position public safety workers’ salary ranges at the 75th percentile of the jobs in the public sector in Palm Beach County. The council used data collected by consultant Evergreen Solutions.

This means that the pay ranges for those jobs will be adjusted so that Palm Beach is in the top 25 percent of highest-paying public agencies in the county.

Raises would be given to public safety employees whose pay currently falls below the midpoint of the new salary ranges.

Bringing all public safety workers’ pay up to the 75th percentile will cost $500,000, according to Human Resources Director Danielle Olson.

Most of the pay changes are expected to take effect at the start of the next budget year on Oct. 1, Town Manager Kirk Blouin said Friday.

Council Increases Public-Safety Employee Pay

The council will address any compensation changes for general employees at its May 14 meeting.

Council members have said that they want an analysis from actuary Pete Strong on how the public safety compensation changes will affect the long-term unfunded liability in the pension program. The council will use that information when developing the next budget.

Currently, police are at the 50th percentile, a survey conducted by Evergreen Solutions found. Firefighters are at roughly the 75th percentile and will see fewer pay adjustments than police. 

The town of Palm Beach has struggled to retain police and firefighters since 2012, when deep pension cuts and other changes caused a large exodus of public safety employees.

Related >>> Town Council Works to Retain Police & Firefighters

Tim Moran, co-founder and vice president emeritus of the Palm Beach Police Foundation, applauded the council’s actions.

“It puts them in line with other municipalities,” he said Wednesday. “We have had a serious problem retaining public safety employees and, hopefully, this will correct it moving forward.”

The council also made several other changes, including additional pay raises to reward long-time employees, adjusting the firefighters’ schedule to 48 hours a week, and more.

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Alanna Barrett

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