Employees with the city of Denison will be receiving pay raises in the near future with police starting in October and everyone else going up in January.

City Council adopted a new pay scale as well as pay raises in the 2020 budget that was approved Monday night. The police department’s employees will begin to see raises effective Oct. 1 with the remaining non-civil service employees receiving their increases Jan. 1, 2020.

Denison City Administrator Jud Rex said the city achieved its goal of increasing pay for nearly all employees of the city.

“The pay increases were a big priority for us this year,” Rex said. “Our goal has been to approach market pay at all positions in Denison to recruit and retain the best talent possible. Earlier this year the council approved the pay increase for our fire staff to the tune of an average 20 percent increase. The council approved new pay plans for our police and non civil service pay. We are excited for the councils decision. We are making big strides to approach market pay for all positions.”

Rex said the city looked at 10 peer cities to help determine how market pay looks. He said it is a difficult term to define, and the goal is to retain the best employees for the city.

“Team Denison and our employees are our most valuable asset,” Rex said. “We feel we made big strides this year to make sure we are compensating our employees as close to market as possible.”

The cost to cover the increases in police pay was budgeted at $171,984 for 50 employees. The cost to cover the increase for the 181 remaining non-civil service employees was budgeted to be $414,207.

Under the new pay scale the police department will have five pay grades. Each pay grade will have a step increase at six months until the officer reaches level two, step E where the increase will be 2.5 percent every six months. Once an officer has received the rank of senior officer his or her pay grade will increase to 2.5 percent annually.

A new recruit will make $44,034 for the first six months before increasing by 5 percent before reaching rank of officer. The highest rank in the plan is assistant chief at P5 and a pay cap at $95,000. The pay levels are recruit, officer, sergeant, lieutenant and assistant chief.

Officers will also receive monthly incentives based on the officers level of training and education. A bilingual, Spanish speaking officer can earn $100 a month more.

Hourly employees for the city will start at $11.85 and increase incrementally each year. The lowest annual salary position is $24,648. The highest salary paid level is $157,372.80 and the highest starting hourly wage is $75.66. There weren’t any positions listed at those highest pay levels. The highest listed pay level was level 40 or $96,616.00 annually. There are five positions at that rate; police chief, fire chief, director of public works, director of finance and administrative services, and director of community and development services.

Do you think the city is paying its employees fairly? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by sending email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.