Because the City of Hattiesburg has only two employees in the human resources department, Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado has proposed to her fellow council members the idea of hiring a director to head up that unit.
The issue was discussed at the June 20 council meeting. Delgado said there is no employee who has the responsibility of taking care of employees and employee needs, and she added that the city needs to ensure consistency when it comes to the treatment of employees at different levels throughout the city.
“In my estimation, an employer with approximately 700 employees (as does Hattiesburg), it is absolutely a necessity that you have someone whose responsibility it is to deal with human resources,” she said. “We need someone to have oversight of human resources, who is answerable, of course, to the mayor and the administration.
“But certainly, there needs to be somebody whose responsibility is taking care of our employees.”
Delgado said she has compared Hattiesburg to other cities throughout the state that have human resources directors, some with larger populations than the Hub City and some with smaller population. Those include:
• City of Jackson: More than 1,900 employees. Salary range for personnel director is from $71,000 to $86,000. Population is 160,000.
• City of Gulfport: Approximately 620 employees. Salary range for personnel director is from $67,764 to $74,047. Population is 72,670.
• City of Meridian: Approximately 450 employees. Salary range for personnel director is from $43,028 to $82,160. Population is 35,979.
• City of Tupelo: Approximately 1,000 employees. Salary range for personnel director is from $71,000 to $78,000. Population is 38,030.
“(The literature provided) defines some of the responsibilities that come up for an entity that has a number of employees like we do,” Delgado said. “And I see some pieces missing – the two ladies in our human resources department, as I understand it, make the same salary, but they have no support staff.
“I can remember when human resources had a director, an assistant director, plus support staff. It would just seem to me that if they are given the responsibility without being given the title and the pay, that is kind of challenging, along with not being given the support staff necessary to make sure that our employees – the people who work for the City of Hattiesburg – have a functioning personnel division or human resources division.”
The council is expected to research the matter.