2011 City of Phoenix Total Compensation Study

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Balancing Competitive Employment and Stewardship of Public Funds

The City Council discussed the Pay and Benefits Study at a Feb. 7, 2012, Council meeting. View the presentation the Segal Company made (at right) without narration in a downloadable format (PDF).  


In recent years, local and national discussions have focused on public-sector employee pay and benefits. In 2011 the City Council approved staff recommendations for hiring an independent consultant to conduct a total compensation study. After a competitive bid and evaluation process, The Segal Company was selected.

The company was tasked with gathering detailed information on both pay and benefits from other governments -- locally, regionally and nationally. They were also tasked with gathering similar information from private employers nationally and in the local Phoenix market.

A panel of citizens from the Innovation and Efficiency Task Force participated in the development and review of the study.


The findings from the data gathered by The Segal Company are recapped below:  

  • City of Phoenix employees are paid significantly less than similar jobs in the local private sector. Overall, City employees are paid 19 percentage points below wages paid in the local private sector.
  • City of Phoenix employees are paid consistent with other local governments and 2 percentage points above other large public sector employers in the nation.
  • City of Phoenix general employees have a total compensation (pay with benefits) that is 1 percentage point above market. If the City implements and the voters approve modifications to pension contributions, as recommended by the Pension Reform Task Force, the City's total compensation figure declines from 1% above market to within market.
  • City of Phoenix employees currently have a pay and benefit plan that includes step progression, pay for performance for middle managers and executives, vacation accrual, and longevity pay. These were found to be common among most surveyed employers.
  • Those components of the City’s pay and benefits structure that appear above market and require further study include tuition reimbursement, medical/dental insurance and shift differentials. Retirement/pension benefits are currently being reviewed.

Overall, City of Phoenix employees are paid commensurate with other public- and private-sector employers surveyed. The vast majority of City of Phoenix jobs were paid comparable to other employers, however some jobs are paid outside (above or below) the competitive market range according to Segal’s review.

The overall goal of this study is to ensure that the City of Phoenix remains a competitive employer and that pay and benefits are fair and equitable while ensuring that the City continues to be a responsible steward of public funds.

Residents having questions about the study may call the Total Compensation Study hotline at 602-256-3300 or send an email to city.comp.study@phoenix.gov.

For your convenience, the 2011 Total Compensation and Benefits Study is provided here in one piece.  The report was reposted on Jan. 24, 2012, with the following revisions:

  1. Minor typographic corrections
  2. Corrections made to the following tables:
B10B --  Total Compensation Cost Comparison, Sworn Public Safety
--  Defined Benefit Plan Contribution Rates for Police and Fire
C31 --  Health Benefits for Part-Time Employees

View the Entire Report (333 Pages) 

Or broken up by section:

Executive Summary


Detailed Study Findings

Observations and Implementation Steps