Superintendent says Mt. Pleasant becoming training ground for other power companies
MT. PLEASANT—Pay for various position in the Mt. Pleasant Power Department is below median pay in the same positions in 17 other municipal utilities in Utah, according to an analysis by a New York-based consulting firm.
But Mt. Pleasant scored well compared to the 17 other utilities for benefits packages, especially on medical benefits.
The study, commissioned by the Power Department, was conducted by NFP, whose earlier company name was National Financial Partners. One of the company’s main activities is conducting market analyses of compensation.
In all, 27 municipal power operations were asked to provide information for the study. Ten declined, including Fairview and Ephraim.
Based on responses that were received, NFP reported the minimum, midpoint and maximum hourly pay levels, as well as median pay, for each position.
The survey found that all eight Mt. Pleasant positions were below the market midpoint. The average gap between Mt. Pleasant positions and midpoint pay at the other utilities was 32 percent.
When employee benefits packages were compared, the Mt. Pleasant Power Department garnered 16 “exceeds” or “meets market” marks out of 24 categories measured. All of the “exceeds market” scores were in the medical benefits segment
A number of the power operations included in the analysis were in cities that are larger than Mt. Pleasant, such as Logan, Brigham City, Bountiful, Lehi, Provo, Springville. The only city smaller than Mt. Pleasant was Parowan. Parowan compensation was lower than Mt. Pleasant pay—the only city that lagged Mt. Pleasant.
Asked why the Power Department commissioned the study, Shane Ward, power superintendent, said that Mt. Pleasant had become a training ground for other power companies.
“We get an apprentice trained up to journeyman skills, and they leave to work for someone else who pays better,” he said.
Ward said training is costly, not just in terms of paid schooling but also the amount of time journeymen linemen spends mentoring and supervising their apprentices. Ward said his department even considered six-year contracts for apprentices to stem the outward flow.
Ward said he thought it would be valuable for the city council to know some of the reasons his department is having difficulty retaining valuable people.