City attorney says job study raises concerns over unfair pay

City employees work hard every day. Their pay and job title are at the heart of a year and a half long study. The study found there are too many titles for the same job.

So the consultants, Fox Lawson and Associates, recommends reducing those titles and instead grouping employees in similar roles and similar pay.

But the findings concern the city attorney.
In a memo obtained by the 2NEWS Investigators the attorney says there are "... internal inequities..." and legal concerns.

Still, the consultant, Jim Fox, defends their approach.

"We didn't change anybody's job. We just saw that they were doing the same work and classified them the same," said Jim Fox, of Fox Lawson and Associates.

That's where the city attorney has a problem. He says the new job classifications don't take into account seniority or education.

Tulsa City Councilor Jeannie Cue says she wants to make sure employees are paid fairly.

"Our city employees are our foundation," said Cue.

The Civil Service Commission, a group that votes on city employee issues, was supposed to look at the new recommended job classifications on Thursday.

But the item was suddenly pulled from the agenda.

Councilor Cue thinks that might be a good thing.

"We don't want to make any quick decisions because that could cost us more in the long run," said Cue.

The Mayor's office declined our request for an interview but did send a statement saying:
"The Human Resources Dept. asked Fox Lawson & Associates to delay their trip to Tulsa so discussions can continue with department heads. The City of Tulsa is taking a large undertaking with the job classification study and a proper vetting process must occur so any issues can be addressed up front. This process is not going to happen overnight and the City will take all steps necessary to make sure an understanding is met with department heads and employees before a new classification system is implemented. Moving forward, the Human Resources Dept. will continue to meet with department heads as the study nears completion so any issues can be addressed and communicated. The consultant was clear that no salary decreases for any employee or decreases in staffing would be presented, as neither were applicable."-- City of Tulsa Spokesperson

To see a copy of the memo from city attorney Dave O'Meilia click here.

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