With above-average turnover rates in its police and fire dispatching departments, Monroe officials will give full-time employees raises up to nine percent.
In a survey of 22 other cities, villages and townships in southwest Ohio, City Manager Bill Brock said Monroe’s basic dispatchers and clerks made less than nearly everyone with similar job duties at $12.20 per hour on the minimum end of the range to $16.83 on the maximum. Only dispatchers in Carlisle in Warren County made less at $11.04 and $16.01.
“We’ve had a lot of turnover lately,” Brock said. “We’ve tried to do part-time, we’ve tried to do full-time, so we’ve had a lot of turnover in that area.”
He said they prefer to keep non-union — the dispatchers are not unionized — and union salaries pretty close with an annual three percent cost of living increase, plus up to three percent in merit pay employees get on their anniversary. The five full-time dispatchers will get an extra three percent pay hike to move into a more competitive position.
“We try to be consistent across all employees,” Brock said. “The additional three percent for the dispatchers was to try to normalize what they are getting paid with what the industry is paying.”
Police Chief Bob Buchanan said he hopes the raises will shut the revolving door.
“We are hopeful. We believe it gives more stability,” he said.
Looking at the dispatch center, it doesn’t look like they could fit new people in, but Buchanan said they want to have two dispatchers on shift at all times — it has gotten crowded because training has been on-going — and there is room for that for the time being.
The city’s police department headquarters was built in 1999 to house 18 police staffers. The building is now home to 40 employees, according to the chief.