Salary Administration

The compensation strategy is based upon pay plans and policies that determine the classification of jobs into pay grades and pay steps. Exceptions to the pay plan may be made by the City Council.

2024 Salary Schedule – General Employees

2024 Salary Schedule – Library

Pay Plan – City pay plans include the schedule of pay ranges consisting of a minimum and maximum rate of pay for all classes of positions contained in each respective plan as well as the components and intended purposes for each feature of the respective plans. The objective of each pay plan is to provide an appropriate salary structure to recruit and retain, and motivate a qualified workforce of City employees while at the same time controlling cost.

      • Competition in targeted talent/labor markets
        • Described by the industry, size, and location where employers compete for talent in both recruitment and retention efforts
      • Preserving City staff/jobs
        • Performance management
      • Preserving City services
      • Providing top quality benefit programs for employees
      • Conducting open dialogue with employees regularly
      • Building a culture of honesty, trust and respect
        • Fairness and transparency
        • Sharing appreciation for job well done
      • Educational opportunities for future growth

Job Classification

The purpose of a job classification plan is to provide a standard system of titles and job descriptions for the effective administration of personnel activities such as: staffing, planning and budgeting, establishing and maintaining standards of job performance, fair and equitable pay, valid selection and recruitment programs, training programs and career development.

      • Authorized Position Count – The authorized position count, as authorized by the City Manager and duly adopted as part of the annual City Budget, serves as the official documentation of positions within the City organization.
      • Human Resources – The Director of Human Resources will be responsible for the administration of the job classification plan in cooperation with Directors.
      • New Positions – The Director of Human Resources, in coordination with Department Heads, may establish a new class or position with an appropriate pay range subject to the approval of the City Manager and subsequently duly adopted as part of the annual City budget.
      • Abolition of Positions – When it is determined that a classification or classifications are no longer useful or needed, the Director of Human Resources may recommend to the City Manager that such classes be abolished and duly adopted as part of the annual City budget.
      • Reclassification – If a supervisor and/or employee has facts which indicate a position is improperly classified, the employee may work with his/her supervisor to submit a written request to their Department head to request a reclassification. If the Department Head approves the request, the employee will work with his supervisor and the Department Head to complete a job description questionnaire, which all will sign and submit to the Director of Human Resources for review. The Director of Human Resources may use outside compensation consultants to review market data and make recommendations.  The Director of Human Resources will submit the recommendations and reports to of the City Manager.  The City Manager will decide which recommendations to accept and what can be added to the City Budget, so that any approved reclassifications are duly adopted as part of the annual City budget.
      • Department Reorganization – If a department or division is reorganized, position descriptions for all affected employees will be submitted to the Director of Human Resources for review and approval as part of such reorganization subject to approval of the City Manager. Reorganized divisions or departments that have new positions or classifications will subsequently be duly adopted as part of the annual City budget.
      • Position Description – The Director of Human Resources may require departments to submit position descriptions/job description questionnaires (JDQ’s) when vacancies occur or anytime there is reason to believe that there has been a significant change in the duties or responsibilities of one or more positions. A review of position descriptions by Supervisors and employees is recommended every two (2) years.  Official job descriptions will be on file in the Human Resources office.
      • Review of Classification Plan – The Director of Human Resources, in coordination with Department Heads, will review the classification plan as often as appropriate to ensure that the plan accurately reflects existing position responsibilities and market conditions. The Director of Human Resources will take whatever action is appropriate to amend and update the classification plan, subject to review of the City Manager. Amendments will be duly adopted as part of the annual City budget.

The City Manager and Director of Administration, will be responsible for determining the total annual amount available for salaries and salary measures under each pay plan as part of the yearly budget process.  The City Manager will also be responsible for the approval of the basic structure and overall ranking of job classifications based upon the recommendations of the Director of Human Resources and any outside compensation consultants hired by the City.

The Director of Human Resources will also be responsible for the overall administration of each pay plan and, in coordination with Department Heads, will make additions, subtractions, and modifications to classifications and the corresponding pay range assignments as needed between formal surveys and outside consultant services with the approval of the City Manager for reflection in future budget documents.

The pay plan groups together positions of similar responsibility into grade levels to establish an appropriate rate for each grade, and range for that grade.  The appropriate rate shall be based on internal ranking and external market conditions.

Pay Grades – Pay grades are established upon completion and analysis of a Job Description Questionnaire (JDQ).  The purpose of the Job Description Questionnaire (JDQ) is to collect and provide necessary information about the job (specific duties and responsibilities) to evaluate salary placement within the compensation structure, classify jobs for various legal requirements (i.e. FLSA), and to compile appropriate job descriptions. It is a systematic process used to establish internal equity among positions and the foundation for the development of an overall classification hierarchy.

Grade Order List

It may include any of the following:

  • Demographic Information
    • Assists in reconciling job title discrepancies and clarifying supervisors as well as other position factors
  • Essential Duties & Responsibilities
    • Primary Duties
      • Most important aspects of the job
      • WHAT is done rather than HOW it is done
    • Frequency and Percentage of Total Annual Time
  • Tools & Technology
    • Software/Technology regularly used in order to perform the functions of the job
    • Equipment/Machinery regularly used in order to perform the functions of the job
      • Tools of the trade and specialized protective equipment
  •  Judgments/Decision-Making
    • Typical Problems/Challenges
    • Possible Solution(s) to Problem/Challenge
    • Resources available and/or used
    • Job Title of who reviews
  • Working relationships / interactions / contacts
    • Title of individuals with whom interaction takes place
    • Description of interaction
    • Why was it necessary
      • Overall purpose/goal of interaction
  • Supervision/Management
    • Area of Action/Responsibility
      • Supervisory and quasi-supervisory
      • Level of involvement – Yes, No, Provides Input
    • Direct supervision of Full-Time (FTE) employees
      • Authority to hire or fire other employees
      • Suggestions and recommendations as to hiring, firing, advancement, promotion, or any other change of status of other employees
  • Work Environment/Physical Requirements
    • Physical effort and exposure to health hazards or hazardous environments over the course of a year
      • Rarely/Occasionally/Frequently
    • Potential for injury in performance of the position
  • Additional Employee Comments
    • Other identifiable features not recognized previously
  • Supervisor(s) title
  • Education Requirements for hire
    • Level of Education
    • Field of Study
    • Additional Information
  • Experience Requirements for hire
    • Years of Experience
    • Type of Experience
      • Specific field
      • Aspect of field
      • General work
  • Certifications/Licensure/Training to perform job
    • Specific requirements
    • How attained/provided
    • Required upon hire OR may obtain after hire
    • Current practices
      • Extra compensation for certification pay
      • Employer reimbursement for obtaining/renewing
  • Comments/Corrections/Additions – Supervisor
    • Any additional comments by supervisor as it pertains to any of above information provided
  • Comments/Corrections/Additions – Administration/HR
    • Any additional comments by Administration/HR as it pertains to any of above information provided
  • Current Market review

Pay Steps/Ranges – Pay steps/ranges are established within the pay grades.  The Fond du Lac City Council has chosen to match the market.

    • Match the market – set pay levels relative to those in the existing marketplace. By matching the pay rates of its competitors, the organization ensures its compensation structure remains competitive, therefore improving its ability to attract and retain top talent. Although this approach allows employers to better manage labor costs, it also has the potential of placing the employer in a position of having to play catch-up, requiring larger adjustments to the compensation structure during tight labor markets.
    • Pay range widths are established with a minimum, midpoint, and maximum based on goals for compensation within the organization
      • Compa-ratio – measures the relationship between the salary of an employee and the midpoint of the pay range for that employee
        • A Compa-ratio of 1.00 or 100% means that the employee is paid exactly what the industry average pays and is at the midpoint for the salary range
      • Market ratio – measures the relationship between the salary of an employee and the value of their position in the market
    • Analysis is completed as it relates to span of control and compression within the employees currently in the grade, and into the step appropriately aligned to the experience, education, and certifications obtained in prior employment positions as well as within the division to assign the proper step placement.
    • Employees progress through the steps based upon City Council annual approval of the budget.
      • Steps allow for growth over the years
      • Steps allow for differentiation of skills and performance
    • Promotional opportunities may be available based upon a succession plan.

Salary AdjustmentThe salary schedule will be reviewed annually to consider overall changes of salaries inside the organization, the labor market, and economic conditions.  If a general adjustment is given, it may be made either on a straight percentage basis, a flat dollar amount, or a combination of the two.  Such adjustment will normally be effective with Payroll 1.

Pay SystemPay periods are bi-weekly.  Hours worked during a pay period are ordinarily paid the following Friday of the subsequent pay period.

Step Increases – Step increases may be authorized by the City Council as part of the annual budget process.  Such increases will be effective with Payroll 1 until an employee has reached the final step in the series progression.  Other authorized step increases will be based upon successful completion of a probationary review.

Red – Circle – When an employee’s salary exceeds the existing pay range maximum, the employee’s pay is defined as “red-circled”.  A red-circled employee will not be eligible for further base-accumulating pay increases until his/her salary is within the salary range for the existing position.

PromotionsThe City recognizes that career advancement through promotion is an important aspect of most employees’ working life.  This makes promotion an important recruitment and retention tool for the City.  A promotion occurs when an existing employee is competitively selected as the most qualified candidate for an existing vacant position; or as a means to reward an employee who has mastered all elements of the current job and meets the requirement of a higher-level job.  When circumstances warrant, the City reserves the right to fill positions by offering promotions to current employees.  The City further reserves the right to determine what the appropriate level of compensation and benefits an employee will receive if he/she chooses to accept the promotion. Most employees may anticipate at least a 2.5% increase in pay when accepting a promotion.  All promotions will include an orientation period set by the City.  If the employee is unable to satisfactorily complete the orientation period in the new position, the City may offer the employee the opportunity to return to his/her previous position if it is still available.


Clerk Cashier–Grade 3, Step 6, making $18.62 an hour, is promoted to Administrative Assistant on Grade 4.  The employee would be placed no lower than Grade 4, Step 3, making $19.35 an hour because that is closest step that provides at least a 2.5% increase.  However, the City may also place the employee on Grade 4 at a higher step if circumstances warrant a larger increase.

TransfersOccasionally, the City may require an employee to change jobs in order to better meet the needs of City operations and/or the public.  In those cases, the City may seek volunteers to transfer to the position.  If there are no volunteers or the City determines that the volunteers do not meet the minimum qualifications, the City may choose an employee for an involuntary transfer. Employees may also request to transfer to a vacant position.  The City reserves the right to determine the appropriate compensation level for any transfer to a new position.

DemotionsUnfortunately, there may be occasions when an employee is demoted due to performance issues, work-related misconduct, or changes in the composition of the workforce.  In such cases the City will determine in its sole discretion the appropriate placement of the employee for wage and benefit levels.

Further, employees may voluntarily request a demotion for a variety of reasons such as job satisfaction or personal needs.  In those cases the City will work with employees to help with the transition and to ensure that the position is meeting the employees’ and the City’s needs.  As with other demotions, the City reserves the right to determine the employees’ level of compensation and benefits in their new positions.

ReclassificationsReclassifications can occur for a variety of reasons including but not limited to changes in job duties or reorganizations of City departments or divisions.  A reclassification is used is when there is a substantive change to the duties and responsibilities of a job that may occur due to changes in organization, type of work, staffing requirements, technology; or when the classification (title, grade, or status) assigned to the job is incorrect based on the actual job duties.  The City periodically reviews all position descriptions and the overall compensation plan to ensure that employees are classified correctly.  When the City determines that a reclassification is necessary, it will review the position’s compensation to determine if it is appropriate.  The City reserves the sole discretion to determine the appropriate classification and compensation level for each position. Generally, employees in positions that are reclassified will not receive a minimum salary increase.  They will be placed on the step in their new grade that is closest to their current wage without being a decrease.


Clerk Cashier–Grade 3, Step 6, making $18.62 an hour, is reclassified to Grade 4.  The employee would be placed on Grade 4, Step 2, making $18.82 an hour because it is the closest step to the employee’s current wage rate on Grade 4 that does not result in a decrease.

Temporary AppointmentsFrom time to time, employees may be temporarily appointed to positions of a higher classification by their supervisor or department head.  In those cases, the City reserves the right to offer an incentive such as increased pay to employees that take on the additional responsibilities.  Not all temporary appointments will qualify for increased pay.  The City reserves the right to determine which temporary appointments will qualify for temporary appointment incentives, and will convey that to the employees prior to making the appointment.

Seasonal EmploymentSeasonal employees shall be compensated at a rate established by the annual City budget process.