MCC accepts revised study of pay, benefits

CRYSTAL LAKE – After months of back and forth deliberation, the McHenry County College Board of Trustees accepted a compensation report that once was flawed.

Last year, the MCC board hired Evergreen Solutions to compile a Compensation and Classification Study, and later found out that the report’s chart comparing total compensation was wrong.

The Florida-based consulting company used industry-average costs of benefits rather than the actual cost of health insurance and other benefits offered to MCC employees.

The company fixed the study and the board accepted it at a meeting Thursday. Evergreen Solutions was paid $32,000 for the study and corrected the report at no cost, MCC President Vicky Smith said.

The initial study found that on average, MCC employees are better-compensated overall than other public-sector workers.

But when using the actual numbers, the revised study found that the college’s employees’ overall pay actually was more than 20 percent below the average.

The revised study cited four steps to make MCC’s pay more competitive. The board approved two of those Tuesday.

One step adopts new pay grades for employees, raising pay overall by $150,000 a year.

It will bring salaries of employees who fell below the industry average up to the minimum range, Board Chairwoman Mary Miller said.

The college’s pay ranges, which hadn’t been updated in 13 years, made it difficult to attract candidates to positions, Smith has said.

The other adopted step better defines job descriptions.

The two recommendations not approved include adjustments for tenured employees and a process that would ensure that supervisors earn more than those below them.

The cost of the latter was $14,129 a year, the report said.

Board Chairwoman Mary Miller said it wasn’t considered “because it would be more costly and we didn’t feel it was necessary,”

The board was contractually obligated to adopt the recommended pay ranges. Last fall, the board approved a three-year contract with its staff council union, which represents professional and classified staff. The contract includes a clause stating “future adjustments to” pay ranges “will be based on the recommendations of the study.”

Had the board not accepted the study and recommendations, it would have had to re-open negotiations, Smith said.

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