Consulting firm study finds City of Tulsa employee pay below average

TULSA - City of Tulsa employees aren't making enough money, that is the result of a year and a half long study.

To get an outside perspective of how the city is doing, leaders hired Fox Lawson and Associates, a consulting company.

The consultants examined employees roles and their pay for the past year and a half.

"We found that the city is paying a little bit less than the market. We looked locally, public sector, private sector, nationally," said Jim Fox of Fox Lawson and Associates.

When we asked how much less city employees were making, Fox said somewhere between five and 10 percent.

However, Fox did not provide 2NEWS Investigators a copy of the study to show the numbers. He said the study isn't ready yet, and still has to go through several administrative checks before it's released.

Still, a 10 percent raise could make a big difference for some employees.

In May the 2NEWS Investigators told you about concerns that poor pay lead to high turnover in the city's water and sewer department. There were 40 some openings in the department just months ago.

Fox says the information learned from the study raises questions.

"How do we adjust people? What is cost effective? What can we afford to do?," said Fox.

That last question is a big one, especially since the city had to cut $17 million from its budget this year.

While those cuts were made, the city paid Fox Lawson and Associates $186,000 and has another $49,000 budgeted if needed.

Fox says the study also found too many job titles for employees who performed the same or similar duties.

"So we went from 600 job descriptions down to 160," said Fox.

Fox expects the entire study to be complete by the end of the year.

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