Hot Springs city manager hopes wage increases will attract workers

The Hot Springs city manager announced that while the discussion is still in its early stages, he hopes a pay rise will attract more workers.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – It’s been fairly common to see vacancies in just about every industry lately, and cities like Hot Springs aren’t immune to labor shortages.

City leaders explored their options to entice more people to apply for these vacancies.

“We have quite a few openings, which is really unusual for us,” Hot Springs City Manager Bill Burrough said.

He explained how several city workers had to change their schedules in order to do the job with fewer people.

“We expect a lot from our services. And at the moment we are able to do that, we have overtime in some departments, but you know, we will not waver in our commitment to service,” he said. added.

Burrough also added that it’s not just a department that needs employees.

“We are concerned about our police officers, we want to make sure that we get good candidates for our police department, they have openings, we have openings in our public works, we have openings in our parks department. So we we have several positions with a wide range of tasks,” he said.

He said the wage for entry-level jobs is currently $12.33 an hour and he hopes to increase the cost of living adjustment for each worker by 3%.

“I think just the amenities that we’re able to offer, and whether it’s kind of flexible hours that we might consider in the future, there are other things that we can do on top of paying,” Burrough described.

As for the hourly wage increase, he said that while he didn’t have an exact number yet, he wanted it to be competitive.

“When I’ve spoken to other peers, and others in the private sector, they’re still struggling to bring in candidates even raising their minimum wage. So I’m not sure what the hell is up with. wait,” he said.

Hot Springs Police Department Officer Omar Cervantes mentioned that although they were understaffed, they managed to make do with what they have. He added that things would certainly be easier if they had more people.

“If we can get to full capacity and have every shift working at its peak, obviously that would be great for our community and for us,” Agent Cervantes said.

The city has been working on its 2023 budget, and once it’s done, they’ll have a better idea of ​​what they can afford to pay their workers.

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