Mechanics working for the fleet maintenance department at the City of Tuscaloosa (Alabama) will see an increase in wages.
The city council approved the increase, along with changes in the job titles and descriptions, at a recent meeting.
In one case, the “equipment mechanic” will be retitled “fleet services mechanic.” The job will have a higher pay grade. In a letter to the chief human resources officer, Kevin Turner, the city director of logistics and asset management, said the equipment mechanic title can be misleading — implying that the position would mainly work on lawnmowers, backhoes, tractors, etc. In reality, Turner wrote, this mechanic works on a wide variety of equipment and vehicles like fire engines, refuse trucks, dump trucks, and other vehicles. Turner explained that the title would help recruit mechanics to work on the city’s wide variety of vehicles and help with existing employee morale. According to an article in The Tuscaloosa News, the change carries a starting pay bump from $49,113 to $50,578.
There will also now be a “fleet services mechanic senior” position, which comes at a starting pay of $53,507. According to The Tuscaloosa News, the only way workers in the department could previously move up to higher positions would be when there was a vacancy. This update will provide current employees a pathway to be promoted to the senior-level job — by obtaining required certifications and years of service.
Another change will update and retitle the entry-level “automotive service helper” job. It will now be called “fleet services assistant.” In his letter, Turner said that the term “helper” is outdated and carries a negative connotation. The change, Turner explained, will also help recruit new workers and help with existing employee morale. According to The Tuscaloosa News, that change includes a boost in starting pay from $34,470 to $37,398.