Grand County Library District approves new salary schedule
Despite concerns expressed by a dozen local librarians, the Grand County Library Board of Trustees approved a new salary schedule and 2020 budget in December.
Approval of the salary schedule and budget had been delayed after local librarians representing every library branch in the district submitted a letter outlining their concerns about the fairness and equity of the pay schedule, which a third-party company was contracted to create.
“We believe the proposed 2020 pay grade scale perpetuates inequality throughout the organization, creating a greater disparity between its employees based solely on a market analysis that may not reflect the current industry trends,” the letter reads.
The salary schedule outlines a lower, middle and upper range salary for each library position. The salary schedule was originally done in 2017 and then updated this year with more recent salary data.
A 2015 comparison of Colorado library wages listed the executive director as making $67,000 and librarians as making roughly $38,000.
According to the 2020 salary schedule, a library resource specialist should make between $32,000-$43,000 and the executive director should make between $79,000- $118,000.
In the letter, the librarians’ opposed the scale because it “favors a few at the top, while most staff will see little or no change in pay.”
At the request of the librarians, the board delayed voting on the salary schedule and held special meetings to discuss the salary schedule and compensation philosophy.
“We had a couple extra meetings … and I think, without any hesitation from any of us, we end better after the discussions than we began,” said Marcus Davis, treasurer of the library board. “We found the salary schedule to still be of the highest integrity — it’s right.”
As a result of those meetings, the board adjusted implementation of the salary schedule to only implement up to 50% of what is proposed. Originally, the board planned to implement the salary schedule in full by maintaining the percentage of the range each employee was on the previous schedule.
“The adjustments that we were going to implement to keep people in range, we’ve actually said, we’re only going to do 50% of that, so movement is only 50% of what was previously proposed,” Marcus explained. “The rest, the transfer of funds, was then allocated towards pay for performance.”
The board also increased funding for the pay for performance budget, which is used to support pay increases, to $16,500, more than doubling what was budgeted for 2019.
Another commitment the board made is to evaluate the salary schedule annually, though not necessarily adjust it every year. The board also plans to re-evaluate job descriptions in the coming year.
Because the salary schedule only outlines ranges for each position, the board emphasized that the budget lays out the total salary budget for the district, not individual employee salaries or raises. The total budget for salaries in 2020 is $756,094, which is an $86,000 increase over last year.
“The salary schedule is not about raises. It’s that we’re paying fair and equitable wages against the market,” Davis said.
Despite the changes made to address concerns, trustees Kim Cameron and Darcy Schlichting voted against adopting the salary survey. The overall budget was adopted unanimously.
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