November 8, 2023
CONTACT: Lindsey Wiles
Public Safety Employees Have Received An Average 20% Salary Increase in 20 Months
MARIETTA – On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, Marietta City Council unanimously approved salary increases and changes to the City’s pay and classification system resulting in the largest single pay increase for public safety employees and includes enhanced salary increases for all general employees. Additionally, this plan also includes raising the minimum wage for all positions to $17 an hour.
This plan, developed over the last few months, increases all general City/BLW employee salaries by 4 percent, increases Electrical Line Worker salaries by 5 percent and increases all sworn Police Officer, Firefighter, and Public Safety Ambassador (PSA) salaries by 7 percent. Additionally, this plan increases the starting pay of new Police Officers and Firefighters to a minimum of $51,000 before accounting for education, military experience, or paramedic certification. This increase in the minimum salary to $51,000 gives Marietta the highest starting take-home pay for new Police Officers and Firefighters and the second highest starting salary for new Officers and Firefighters in Cobb County. Marietta’s starting pay for Police and Fire is now higher than Cobb County’s.
The City has a generous pension with a 2.1% multiplier (double what is offered by Cobb County), an employee clinic managed by WellStar, and a high-quality health insurance plan, with less deductions taken out of employees’ paycheck each week for these benefits. Marietta employees pay an average 66% less ($1,288.97 less per year) than other Cobb local governments for employee-only insurance and 75% less ($6,201.63 less per year) for family insurance. This is because the City pays for cost increases whereas other governments pass them along to their employees. The City and its employees do not contribute to social security, instead the City contributes 6.14% of an employee’s salary into an employee-controlled, supplemental 401(a) investment account.
These salary increases go into effect on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Once these changes are put in place, the Marietta Police Department and the Marietta Fire Department will have received on average an over 20 percent increase over the last 20 months from three pay increases, multiple compression adjustments and promotions. These increases will also give departments additional room to continue to focus on compression adjustments. Just last week 21 police officers received additional increases as part of ongoing compression adjustments. The cost of this proposal is over $1.2 million, and the City will be delaying capital expenditures to pay for this plan. Additionally, City Council approved for staff to develop the FY2025 budget to include a 4 percent increase for all employees, rather than the traditional 3 percent.
With the staffing challenges faced by local governments across the country, we believe this plan will help our recruitment and retention efforts.