Research backs up city employees’ claims of being underpaid, says consultant

By Jack King

In a recent survey, Clovis city workers indicated they feel they are underpaid — and research validates their feelings, a human resources consultant told city commissioners Thursday night.

Mike Swallow of Personnel Systems and Service has been hired by the city of Clovis to do a wage and benefits study. As a first step, he did a survey of employees’ job attitudes, compared with the attitudes of 2,599 employees from cities throughout the Western United States.

Swallow said Clovis employees’ scored similarly to the control group in questions that show what qualities they think make good employees and that show their worth to an organization. But they scored as markedly more dissatisfied with their compensation than the control group, he said.
Asked if they felt they were underpaid in comparison to the value of their jobs, 93 percent of Clovis employees said, “Yes,” compared to 72.1 percent of the control group.

Asked if they are underpaid compared to others doing the same job in the same organization, 67 percent of Clovis employees said, “Yes,” compared to 48.6 percent of the control group.

Asked if they are underpaid compared to their volume of work, 86 percent of Clovis employees said, “Yes,” compared to 68.6 percent of the control group.

Asked if they are underpaid compared to those doing the same type of work in other organizations, 90 percent of Clovis employees said, “Yes,” compared to 72.8 percent of the control, Swallow said.

Furthermore, a survey of 40 other municipalities in New Mexico shows the Clovis employees’ feelings are correct, he added.

He said he will present strategies to address their concerns in early April.

Audience member Rube Render asked Swallow if he had ever encountered employees who didn’t say they felt they were underpaid. He admitted he hadn’t.