Compensation Analysis

1. I attended the opening of “Liberty’s New Address”, the new Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) offices in Austin this week. The picture at https://www.facebook.com/keith.self.94 shows the beautiful wood inlay in the foyer floor. I frequently use the excellent TPPF work. As they quoted Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Lady of Great Britain, “In order to win elections, you must first win the debate.” TPPF helps do that.

2. Collin County offers a strong compensation package with competitive salaries, out-of-this world retirement benefits, and almost absolute job security based on performance. The county staff sent out an employee survey this past week to gauge employee rankings of salary and benefits, the latest tool in keeping our compensation packages current.

There are other annual studies that we conduct to determine compensation for our employees.

a. We conduct an annual review comparing salaries (and increases) in both public sector and private sector (where applicable) positions. We also review benefits of comparable public sector entities.

b. For the past two years we conducted “compa ratio”, a study whether or not individuals are compensated commensurate with their performance and longevity. This corrects imbalances built up over time.

c. We conduct a linear regression analysis for selected salary grades compared against market salary for equivalent positions. This is an important element for me.

d. We conduct a reclassification review for a particular position when an elected official requests (outside of normal budget discussions). Successful reclassification results in a new salary grade.

A small number of senior leaders often express their dissatisfaction with our compensation package, and certainly senior leader attitudes affect our work force. I fully understand that some pine for the days when every employee received an automatic three percent annual pay raise (five percent for law enforcement), plus market movement (several more percent).

You can view a five-year history of our pay-for-performance salary increases at http://www.keithself.com/gallery/ under “salary history” in three charts: Exempt/non-exempt, Law Enforcement, and Legal categories. You will see that we compare very favorably to our comparable agencies.

I believe that our extensive annual compensation analysis will continue to inform our compensation discussions, our competitive salaries, our 200% retirement match with guaranteed 7 percent interest, and our iron-clad job security.

I understand that the past automatic salary increases every year were particularly attractive, but our compensation packages today are structured closer to the private sector. And I look forward to the results of our newest analytic tool, an employee survey, to augment our annual analysis.