ARCHDALE — In light of a domino effect that continues to threaten the workforce of city government, Archdale City Council approved a pay increase across the board for employees last week.

City Council committees recommended approving several measures aimed at retaining the current workforce and attracting new employees. Councilman Larry Warlick, upon recommendation of the personnel and finance committees, made a motion to provide a retention supplement of $2,500 for city employees. That motion passed unanimously.

“I want to say how gracious and thankful I am that y’all were willing to get together and meet this evening about some timely issues,” City Manager Zeb Holden said. “It means a lot to us and to myself that we can take care of these issues and take care of some needs.”

The decision comes a month after High Point City Council received a proposal to address what officials call historic staffing challenges. The workforce vacancy rate in the neighboring municipality is normally 5% to 6%, but has spiked to 12% since the COVID-19 pandemic, with 174 open jobs citywide out of 1,483 authorized full-time positions.

Though numbers specific to Archdale were not provided this month, city leaders say competition from the private and public sectors, as well as accelerating retirement rates and a shortage of qualified applicants are among the factors making it difficult to fill vacancies.

That is a common refrain in neighboring Davidson County, where commissioners have long lamented poaching from the sheriff’s office and where a discussion of pay rates for staff will be one of several ongoing focuses in 2022 for Thomasville City Council.

Thomasville has mulled the idea of a pay study. The city manager explained the concept of compression as it pertains to pay schedules, cautioning council members that a large pay bump to some employees could cause a much smaller pay differential between lowest-paid and middle-tier employees, disincentivizing longevity.

Creating career ladders in some departments was discussed as a potential solution to issues related to pay in Thomasville. In High Point, the city’s proposal includes a $1,000 bonus and a 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment for all current full- and part-time positions. In addition, the city plans to raise all employees’ pay ranges 2.5%, which could amount to another increase.

Pay for current and future full-time and part-time hourly positions would be increased to a $15 minimum wage.

Officials also want to implement a recruitment bonus program that would provide $1,000 to a current employee who refers a successful candidate to certain positions that are difficult to fill.

Besides pay adjustments, officials recommend allowing city police officers to take their vehicles home if they live anywhere in Guilford, Randolph, Davidson or Forsyth counties, and not just in the High Point limits.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at dkennedy@atnonline.net.

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