Employee compensation in Sandy is based on annual reviews. Employees can earn merit raises annually in addition to cost-of-living increases.

To determine salaries, the city surveys other Wasatch Front municipalities annually. A range is then calculated for each position, with starting employees paid at the lowest rates. Through annual reviews, the employees can work their way up through the range. It is possible to reach the high end in nine years, said City Administrative Officer Bryant Jorgenson.

Pay of Sandy employees is about average, according to a compensation report published by the city in January. Some positions pay more than average; others pay less. The differences are apparent both within and between departments.

For the positions that pay less than average, an incentive program can make up the difference, Jorgenson said.

"We are paying our employees more than we are showing (in gross salary), but we're just getting them up to market," he said.

In addition to regular wages, Sandy employees have been eligible for bonuses up to 6 percent. Proposed changes would standardize the program but would allow for bonuses totaling 7 percent.