Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 17, 2021

Help Wanted signs have appeared all over Fernandina Beach, from grocery stores to drugstores, from restaurants to small and large retailers.  The City of Fernandina Beach is also hiring full and part time positions, both seasonal and permanent.  City Human Resources Director has prepared the following Staffing Vacancy Report:

 

For more information on the particular vacant positions or to apply for a position, visit the City’s website http://fbfl.us/jobs.aspx 

The City of Fernandina Beach is an Equal Opportunity employer.

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DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT (@guest_61063)
1 year ago

When a person can collect the equivalent of $16 – $22/hour in unemployment compensation, there is little incentive for those that like to “game” the system to go out and work. Looking at the job posting list in the article, specialized positions like the plans examiner that have gone unfilled for almost a year and a half would seem to indicate the job is underpriced. I think the City Manager indicated it has been more than a decade since the city had a wage and classification study done. If that is the case, then one needs to be done and properly applied to all employees so there is no inequity to existing employees.

Perry Laspina
Perry Laspina (@guest_61066)
1 year ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

I couldn’t agree with you more David, but that would also create another major issue. The city has many long-term employees that have worked for the city for 25+ years, who have reached the top of their pay-scale, that would now make even more money. This isn’t a local issue, this issue is way out of control by long-term employees who are “MILKING THE SYSTEM” nationwide, and it began in the N.E. states. Ex: The supervisor for the streets and sidewalks division has been with the city over 30+ years and makes over $80,000. With this in mind, the city could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by forcing their retirement (which has clearly came and gone for them in the past) and use those same funds to RAISE wages for these positions that are currently underpaid and unfilled. But these employees have got such sweet jobs paying good money with limited responsibilities, why would they want to RETIRE.

DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT (@guest_61070)
1 year ago
Reply to  Perry Laspina

Totally disagree Perry. NOBODY should be forced to retire if they are performing their job satisfactorily. I don’t understand why you believe that a more senior employee has “a sweet job..with limited responsibilities”. I know quite well of the individual you are referring to and I think if you talk to any of his colleagues or those under his supervision, they will tell you that he is one of the most hard working employees the city has..The reality is that employees in the public sector will generally be at a lower pay scale than those in the private sector for a variety of reasons.

A Wage and Classification Study will show what a market salary range for each position should be. Once an employee hits the top end of that range, their salary is frozen at that level. Seniority brings tremendous experience and if a people manager, the ability to impart that knowledge and management skills to those less senior employees so when they do retire, there will be an easy succession. Of course, this is coming from someone that is still working past the time that I reached “official” retirement age (by Social Security requirements), but I enjoy the work that I do and my employer has encouraged me to continue to work there for as long as I want to as they value my contributions to our team and the organization..

Chris Nickoloff
Chris Nickoloff (@guest_61072)
1 year ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

Per the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, it is illegal to force someone, over the age of 40 to retire due to their age. Except for Firefighters. There is an exemption in the act that allows for forced retirement at age 55. So just because someone makes more due to his longevity at the organization, cannot be cause for penalization.

I agree that a wage study needs to be done to update wages and perhaps create a sliding scale so those who have been there the longest make more. In addition, it should be proposed to do a Total Compensation comparison. This would compare wages along with benefits ie. Healthcare, personal time, holiday pay sick time etc. And would provide a clearer picture of what employees compensation is overall.

I do however disagree with the assertion those on unemployment are making $16-$22/hr are “gaming” the system. Especially, when looking at the jobs listed in the posting, the majority don’t even come close to those numbers. One of the few is police officer at $18.51/hr which is way underpaid in my opinion.

DAVID LOTT
DAVID LOTT (@guest_61078)
1 year ago

Chris, note that the chart shows the minimum starting pay.and also recognize that the majority of the positions listed are part-time. One of my sons is a district manager in the metro-Atlanta area for a regional casual dining restaurant company. They are having an unprecedented level of difficulty getting folks to come back to work and have had to curtail operating hours at a number of locations. So what do you call it when someone that supposedly claims they want to work but refuses to come back to work because they can make more in unemployment payments? Certainly their right but it will be interesting to see what happens when the supplemental payments run out.

Alan Prescott
Alan Prescott (@guest_61069)
1 year ago
Reply to  DAVID LOTT

I have been advocating for increases in pay for the golf staff for some time now. I agree with Mr. Lott. First class employees deserve good pay. People work for many reasons, one of which is to earn an equitable and sustaining wage and benefits.

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