Kannapolis City Council agrees to reinstate longevity pay plan, increase salaries

Published 12:01 am Sunday, March 26, 2023

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council thinks highly of city employees and is willing to prove it. The council agreed to reinstate an employee longevity pay plan that is effective immediately.

Kannapolis had a similar plan before it was canceled due to salary and population increases. The goal is to recognize full-time employees who have been loyal in their years of service to the city. It will begin with one payment of $1,100 after five years of service. Payments, which will be made once a year, will increase by $800 for every five years the employee works for Kannapolis. These will be “paid annually on the pay date preceding the Thanksgiving holiday.” The maximum that will be given is $5,100 for over 30 years of employment. Longevity pay will end at the employee’s retirement. The annual cost for the new longevity plan is $542,458. 

The city completed a study to see how employee salaries compared to the marketplace. The study results recommended Kannapolis adjust the pay ranges by 10 percent to achieve 110 percent of the market rate, allocate job classifications and adjust allocations as needed to maintain equity. The city agreed, and will also adjust pay 3 percent per grade advanced or move to the minimum of the new pay grade, whichever is greater, for employees assigned to reallocated job classifications. Payment will be adjusted to the minimum of the range or adjust pay by two percent, whichever is greater, for all employees whose job classification is not being reallocated. These changes will start on April 5. The projected annual cost to execute the findings is $1.23 million.

“These are some of the areas that have continually been areas of concern for employees through our surveys…But this was just an area where we felt like we were not as competitive with our other agencies in our market group,” Human Resource Director Tina Cline said. “We don’t want to be the leader in the market, but be above the market.”

Unlike the longevity plan, the new salary changes will affect all city employees.

Council approved of a lump sum bonus to offset the delay in implementing the study’s findings. This sum will make up for the three months the salary change was not enacted, the amount will be “equal to the difference between the new rate of pay and the pay rate that was in effect for the first pay date in January 2023 multiplied by the total hours worked for the pay periods in January, February and March.”

The total amount to fund the lump sum payments and the salary changes for the rest of the fiscal year is $615,000. A budget amendment was approved that will cover both the lump sum payments and the remainder of the salary changes until June.