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Joplin Council Hears Proposal For New Pay Plan, Draws Concerns From Police, Fire Unions

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     A work session tonight, for Joplin City Council.
     One of the items on the agenda, a new pay plan for city employees...which, of course, includes police officers and firefighters.
The proposed plan returns the city to a "step" program, with each "step" being a different level for a certain position - and a pay level established for each step.
It also returns the city to employees receiving a two percent raise annually on their anniversary date.
Sam Anselm, Joplin City Manager: "At the department head level we've been meeting with staff for the last several meetings just to talk about the pay plan and what it could look like."
City Manager Sam Anselm says while this plan does not address salary issues, he feels it's still an important first step.
Anselm: "Putting a pay plan in place at least as a good first step to help with retention so that maybe over time the pay plan itself becomes something that we can use to fill positions that are there."
But, union representatives for both police and fire, don't think this plan will help with retention at all.
Jeremie Humphrey, Joplin Professional Firefighters Assoc.: "This plan will not stop that, people will continue leaving and probably we'll have more people leave."
Shelby Howard, Joplin F.O.P. Lodge 27: "If there's follow through, and promises and research, and meetings held afterwards, I think it's a step in the right direction, but as it stands right now, it's not the answer."
Anselm says it all comes down to budget.
Anselm: "We have employees that provide services and programs to residents and if we start to do anything to increase expenses in one area, we either have to look at decreasing expenses in that area or other areas, or we need to look at our revenue streams to see if there's a way we can supplement that increase in expenditures."
Councilman Ryan Stanley spoke up about the issues with retention and pay for police and fire, and Jeremie Humphrey hopes there can be change.
Humphrey: "It's encouraging to hear them talk about and address that, that this might not be the answer, and they want us to come to the table with the Local 59 and the F.O.P. to give information to hopefully resolve this issue.
     The plan will be formally introduced at the council meeting next Tuesday where a vote will ultimately take place.
 

Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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