By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – The Cookeville City Council has approved on first reading its 2022-2023 budget which includes a 12% increase in the city’s pay scales, the largest pay increase in city history. Most city employees would receive a raise of $4,576, with employees in the fire department receiving a $4,680 increase.
The city is making the adjustments in order to be more competitive with the private sector in the current competitive job market. The average salary all full-time employees as of June 30, 2022 is estimated to be $49,000, and after the market salary adjustment, it is estimated to be $53,593.
The city has been fortunate to have employees that have served the city for many years. There are currently 27 employees with over 30 years of service and another 40 with over 25 years.
This longevity has led to a recent number of retirements that have severely impacted the city workforce and necessitated a revision of the pay scales. Thirty-nine employees retired in FY 19, 20, 21 and another 13 in current FY 22.