• September 14, 2014

Killeen employee turnover rate higher than Waco

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Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2014 4:30 am

The city of Killeen’s average employee turnover rate has been slightly higher than the city of Waco’s over the past three years; another gap comes in to play with the turnover rate of department heads.

The city of Waco has about 200 more employees than Killeen and averaged a turnover rate of 9 percent since 2012 — 3 percent lower than Killeen’s 12 percent.

There’s also a gap in the turnover rate among department heads leaving the cities. Since 2012, Killeen has lost seven — five retired, one was dismissed and one resigned. Waco lost five.

BY THE NUMBERS

Killeen has 1,292 employees; Waco has 1,516. From January to June, Killeen had 92 employees leave the city. Of those 92 employees, three were department heads — former Municipal Judge William Gibson and former Code Enforcement Director Robert Retz retired. Roshanda Smiley, who was the city’s human resource director for less than five months, resigned in February.

Two department heads have left Waco since January.

According to numbers obtained by the Herald through an open records request, Killeen lost 210 employees in 2012 — 174 resigned, 17 retired and 19 were fired.

One of the dismissals in 2012 was former city finance director Barbara Gonzales, who was fired following an investigation into the city’s Fleet Service Division, which she oversaw. She currently has a lawsuit against the city under the Texas Whistleblower Act. Kim Randall, former fleet services director, retired in December 2012 following the same investigation.

During the same time, Waco had 128 staffers leave the city; one was a department head.

In 2013, while the number of resignations fell to 163 for Killeen, the number of employees who retired or were fired increased, with 25 retiring and 34 being dismissed.

The turnover includes the retirement of two department heads — former public works director Richard Macchi and human resources director Debbie Maynor.

Waco lost 141 employees in 2013, including two department heads.

Maynor retired in June 2013 after 14 years with the city of Killeen. She works in the Human Resources Department for Travis County.

Maynor said she was able to retire from Killeen after 14 years of service due to the way the Texas Municipal Retirement System is set up. Time spent working for the state, a municipality or in the military counts toward retirement. She worked for the state for about 14 years prior to Killeen.

“The way retirement works may account for why you see a lot of retirements. People (go to Killeen) for a second career,” she said. “I liked working there, but something that was the most challenging for me as a department head was city manager turnover. With new management comes new philosophies, new priorities, new expectations.”

Maynor said she retired from Killeen because she wanted to move to the Austin area and was presented with an opportunity to do so, but city manager turnover may account for some department head departures.

Scott Houston, general counsel for the Texas Municipal League, said they don’t retain data to determine if the rate of turnover is low, average or high for a city of its size.

Ann Farris, Killeen assistant city manager, said the top three reasons employees leave the city is for another job or a higher salary, they resign for personal reasons or they retire.

The highest number of turnovers happen in the lower pay grades — operators, clerks, solid waste workers and custodians.

“Two reasons they have a higher rate of turnover: one is they’re lower in terms of salary. When looking at the pay scale they’re close to the bottom,” Farris said. “The second reason is, for us, those positions are the ones furthest from the market. We need to change them so they are more competitive. They’re underpaid based on the market.”

According to the city’s pay scale, custodians, operators and solid waste worker’s salaries range from $20,700 to $30,144. A clerk, who falls in the lowest pay grade, has a salary ranging from $18,876 to $27,492.

RETENTION

In June, the Killeen City Council approved a 3 percent across-the-board raise for city employees. Additional raises are anticipated as the city moves into the budgeting process for the 2015 fiscal year, and revises its compensation plan.

Farris said the pay increase is part of the city’s effort to meet its goal outlined in its Vision 2030 plan — recruit and maintain a talented, committed workforce.

“When putting together a compensation plan, we want to be sure that we’re competing with our neighbors that are close so that our employees who may decide to work 15 minutes away won’t be drawn away because of salary,” Farris said. “Then we also identify a group of cities that are like us in nature, in terms of population.”

Farris said by using both factors of comparison in developing a compensation plan, it keeps employees from leaving to work for a city within close proximity and gives values based on comparable cities.

The most stable positions fall in the middle of the pay scale — supervisors. According to the city’s pay scale, a supervisor garners anywhere from $36,492 to $56,400 annually.

“The reason they’re stable is two-prong,” Farris said. “They’re kind of in the middle of the pay scale, so it’s a comfortable place to be and we are competitive with them. Also, a lot of times they have a career path. They’re positioned for promotion.”

Farris said the city’s benefits package aids in its retention rate with health insurance premiums for employees 100 percent financed by the city, and a retirement program with a two-to-one match.

“There’s also a longevity stipend that people earn after their first year of employment, and it’s not a lot of money but it’s a little increase in salary that says ‘Gosh, we’re sure glad you stayed here,’” she said.

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Welcome to the discussion.

3 comments:

  • Max67 posted at 7:06 pm on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    Max67 Posts: 63

    Well commented OldWoman! Has anyone questioned the number of EEOCs filed against the City of Killeen since Morrison began his term as City Manager who allows such Administrators as the City Attorney to talk him into make interesting decisions that causing a great liability against the City of Killeen!
    EEOCs from the former Assistant Director of Human Resources, Human Resource Generalist, public information office positions, finance positions, and this list goes on, etc.
    The former Mayor allegedly guiding Glenn Morrison to make the final decision in denying the 'Unanimous decision against the Employee Review Board' for the Former Finance Director, Barbara Gonzales to get her job back.
    Debbie Maynor although part of your comments are true about Morrison and Farris management 'change in management', be completely honest, you were forced to retire.
    Farris' who has zero experience in city government forces school district 'stuff' down city government environment and one can also tell she was hired to be even more deceptive by not following the rules; (you scratch my back I scratch yours). They overlooked a City Manager with a decade of experience with a MBA and CPA, to hire Anne Farris with no City Government experience because she was part of the good ole' boy network because that was the 'thing to do'.
    So Debbie did not care for Farris' an even more deceptive way of management who Debbie Maynor was 'forced to retire', just like Robert Retz, Marilyn Vargas, a tenured Assistant Director of Information Technology and the Director of Technology, Don Fine; and of course Ron Acker, Traffic Superintendent, because his brother at the time was litigating against the city. Does anyone remember John Acker who was terminated and won the employee review board hearing, but Glenn 'denied' his win and or approval to return to his job?

    I am sure there is a lot more sludge found under Glenn Morrison and his P&R Management; which explains the highly unusual turnover, mandatory retirements, EEOC complaints, liability hanging over the city.

    The turnover since Glenn Morrison was hired as City Manager has escalated and how many EEOCs have been filed against the City of Killeen?

     
  • OldWoman posted at 10:55 am on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    OldWoman Posts: 28

    The majority of people fired in 2012 and 2013 were those who would not play along with the corruption and spoke up for themselves. Anyone who had half a brain and could put two and two together, i.e. knew of the ongoing thievery, had to go, either by making them quit, or finally firing them.

    Look at the Human Resources directors: they are the most privy about anything going on within the organization ... one leaves after 14 years citing "With new management comes new philosophies, new priorities, new expectations.” The second HR Director leaves after only months on the job.

    When people like myself get fired and receive unemployment pay despite two reviews with city attorneys and the employment commission, and even attorneys for the city cannot substantiate why the firing was "with cause" you know there is something fishy.

    It's all a great sham in the little red brick school house.

     
  • WEJohnsn posted at 8:49 am on Sun, Jul 6, 2014.

    WEJohnsn Posts: 35

    thats because employees in killeen quit on army payday and weekends . customer service is terrible in killeen.

     

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