APPLETON - The city of Appleton is tossing out its $60,000 consultant report on the city's pay plan for city workers.
After abandoning the year-long study, the council now plans to do its own.
From snow plow drivers to sanitation workers, many are asking the same question.
"They know what they are being paid, but they need to know what the future is for them, what does it look like, what is my potential and what does it take to get a raise as a city employee," said Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna.
So the city paid a consulting firm $60,000 to find out.
Since the Act 10 changes went into effect in 2011, hundreds of former union city employees have been wondering what's next. Exactly what the compensation study was meant to address.
For example, in 2010 a city employee classified as a laborer started at $20.14/hour with a maximum of $21.16/hour. The consultants recommended the same laborer start at a minimum of $14.52/hour with a maximum of $21.78.
"The council rejected the study that was put in front of them," said Hanna.
Council members say one of the main sticking points with the report was the use of private sector compensation information the council could not verify.
"That definitely was a concern for some of us but we're still going to be able to use private sector data, we're just going to be using published private sector reports," said Alderman Teege Mettille.
"There were certain people on the council who say, well how do we know how that data was used if we can't see it? You don't. At some point you have to trust the professional that we hired," said Hanna.
In the meantime, Hanna says the city's several hundred former union employees will be slotted into the current compensation plan. That plan was created in the mid-1990s by the same firm the city hired in 2011.
"They just want to know what the new norm is, they want to know what their salary and benefit package is, they want to know what they have to do to get a future increase here and they want to know how they can progress and what decision they need to make that is best for their family," said City of Appleton Human Resource Director Sandy Behnke.
Mettille says he wants the city study to include benefits with salary information to get a better picture of what an overall compensation package will look like.
"The most important thing is when we are dealing with public funds and public information is to make sure that we get the information correct and as complete as we can be."
Something everyone can agree on.
The new study by city staff could take several months.
City leaders say it should not cost taxpayers any money other than the time spent by city staff at the expense of other work they'd be doing.
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