HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– It’s no secret that many Hagerstown employees make less money than their counterparts in nearby communities. Evergreen Solutions conducted a wage study looking at the wages of non-union employees. The survey determined that on average those employees in Hagerstown make 22% less than the average market minimum.

“We knew we were lagging. 20 percent was a bit of a shocker for all of us I suspect,” said Don Francis, director of human resources for the city of Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown council was briefed of the data at Tuesday’s work session. Evergreen solutions surveyed 13 nearby communities and councilmember Kristin Aleshire says many communities surveyed, such as Carroll and Frederick Counties, have much higher median household incomes than Hagerstown. He believes this should be factored in when determining the pay scale. Francis agreed with Aleshire.

“You’re going to have to figure out where the happy medium is. There has to be a balance and as we move forward the recommendations will have to take that into account,” said Francis.

Evergreen Solutions suggests for the council to increase the non-union pay structure by 7%. And before the council makes any changes, they want to see more data.

“It’s difficult for us to decide at this level right now because we need more data, so the staff has to go back and what are options are in order to be completive in the market place,” said Shelley Mcintire, a Hagerstown councilwoman.