Similar salaries for similar work

Published 8:47 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To the editor:

I believe the city manager’s salary increase was justified as a means of making her position competitive with surrounding cities. The problem with that notion is this: Are her responsibilities also commensurate? If we are paying her at the same rate as the city managers of Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Norfolk or Chesapeake, is she earning that pay with a similar workload?

I might be wrong, but I find it difficult to believe the city manager of Suffolk — with the smaller population and number of businesses and functions therein — should command a salary comparable to that of the city manager of Virginia Beach with its numerous tourist attractions and businesses, Norfolk with its ports and military affiliations or Portsmouth with its ports and numerous businesses.


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In short, does she really do the amount of work to earn what she takes home? Is it a true apples-to-apples comparison?

On the flip side of that notion, why are we not trying to make our educators’ salaries comparable? Do our educators not teach the same standards? Do they not have the same administrative duties (or more, considering the numerous and redundant mandatory reports that must be so frequently submitted)? Do they not have comparable class sizes?

I have heard that steering committee representatives, grade team leaders and others with added responsibilities are compensated for them in other systems, but not in Suffolk.

If the City Council wants to make Suffolk attractive to only the best candidates for high-level city employees, why does it not take the same approach with teachers?

Eric Landon