Compare this to other cities:
Seattle: Nearly 10,000 employees with a population of 730,000.
San Francisco: 39,634 employees in 2016 with 884,363 residents as of 2017.
San Diego: As of 2016 they had 11,387 employees with a population of just over 1.4 million.
Fort Worth: 6,195 employees with a population of 874,168.
Whether cities are demorat- or republican-run, there’s always a great paying job in public service…
From Oregon Live: More than 1,200 city of Portland employees have had their pay frozen because their salaries are higher than what human resources officials determined are “justified.”
Among them are more than a dozen bureau directors, including the city’s human resources director and Police Chief Danielle Outlaw.
Affected employees were notified by email Thursday. Many of them said they are confused, upset or both.
“We’re hearing frustration and disappointment with how information is being rolled out,” said Sonia Schmanski, chief of staff for Commissioner Nick Fish. “People are getting emails they don’t understand, and they have both concerns and questions.”
The pay freeze for roughly 70 percent of the city’s non-unionized workers – meaning they’ll get no merit or cost-of-living raises until further notice – is one of the first consequences of a new state law mandating greater pay equity.
The gist of the law, which took effect January 1, is that employees with similar backgrounds who do similar work have to be paid equally or they can recover outsized legal damages. The law is intended to protect women, minorities and other groups that have historically been found to get smaller salaries than others doing similar jobs.
To fix any inequities, employers may only raise the pay of workers found to be underpaid, not dole out pay cuts to those on the high side.
As a result, the city notified more than 500 employees Thursday that they will receive a raise. The increases in hourly pay ranged from as little as 1 cent to $16.32.
The city also froze the pay of about 850 workers at the level they were paid in 2018.
And, for about 350 workers, it did both. They got a raise — and at the same time were notified they had been pushed above the “justified” pay range, meaning a raise and pay freeze all at once.
The messages caused outrage among managers citywide and anxiety in the ranks, according to several city employees who witnessed bosses and coworkers fretting over the notices.
Officials never intended to imply that people are overpaid, said Serilda Summers-McGee, director of the Bureau of Human Resources. (Summers-McGee was one of the bureau directors whose pay was deemed above what is justified and subsequently frozen.) “That is the way that some folks are interpreting that language,” she said, “and it is something that the city of Portland is going to have to remedy in communications moving forward.”
High-ranking managers called out as being paid more than is justified include the city’s deputy chief administrative officer, the city economist, the spokespeople for numerous city bureaus and two of the assistant police chiefs, among many others.
Human resources officials will meet with the City Council on Tuesday to discuss the pay equity law, Summers-McGee said. It’s unclear what actions, if any, the council may be considering. It’s also an open question how the pay equity law will affect the city budget, said Jessica Kinard, interim City Budget Office director.
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