Third party looks into Hattiesburg pay scales

Third party looks into Hattiesburg pay scales

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Hattiesburg's city clerk, with the support of the mayor and human resources manager, has gotten a third party to review the city's pay scales, which have been questioned in recent months.

City Clerk Kermas Eaton said Craft Consulting will review the scales by which all city employees are paid. In the past few months, at least two Hattiesburg firemen have publicly criticized the city for not updating the pay scales properly since as recently as 2008.

"They're coming in and reviewing the pay scale, and they're also going to be reviewing how we've paid the firefighters in the past to see if there's anything that's been compromised or possibly done wrong," Eaton said.

One firemen addressed the city council earlier this month, claiming he was owed $30,000 in back pay, due to pay scales not being updated properly. HR previously said that was a false claim and proper scales were in place. However, the council tabled a motion earlier this month to approve updated pay scales in order to seek more information.

Eaton said he, Mayor Johnny DuPree and HR manager Gena Hopkins agreed having an outside party would benefit the process.

Craft Consulting is managed by wage hour consultant Van Craft. According to his LinkedIn profile, Craft previously worked as a wage hour consultant for Jackson, Shields, Yeiser and Holt law firm. Before that, he served 36 years with the United States Department of Labor in the Wage and Hour Division.

"He's very qualified, and I think he'll do a good job and check the ins and outs that we are not familiar with," Eaton said.

Eaton said Craft is scheduled to present his findings to the city council at its Aug. 3 agenda setting and work session.

The vote on the pay scales is set for Tuesday, but it is expected to be tabled until after Craft makes his presentation next month.