Commissioners approve 3% pay hike for employees

May 06, 1997


Staff Writer

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to give county employees a 3 percent pay raise effective July 1.

County Personnel Director Alan Davis had recommended a 4 percent pay increase. "We need to stay competitive," he said.

Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers voted against the pay raise. Bowers said as few as five employees may have left in the last year because of salaries.

Davis had told the County Commissioners that the county employee turnover rate had risen to about 7 percent, not including retirements. Davis said the turnover rate will rise when the unemployment rate drops, as it has in the past few years.


But Bowers said that, of that 7 percent, as few as 1 percent or 2 percent might be leaving because they can get higher pay elsewhere.

Other reasons, such as not liking their jobs or their supervisors, often play a bigger role, he said.

Commissioner R. Lee Downey made the motion for the 3 percent raise. Downey said he would prefer a 4 percent raise but didn't think there was enough support for that among the other commissioners.

Downey said he felt employees deserved the raise and said the commissioners should implement the 4 percent recommended by a wage and salary study.

Commissioner James R. Wade seconded the motion. He said commissioners should take into account that employees received a 4 percent raise in July 1994, a 4 percent raise in November 1995 and a $500 bonus, $500 increase in salary and 2 percent pay raise in December 1996 and January 1997.

The raise will cost $394,000 next year, according to County Administrator Rodney Shoop. The commissioners have voted to increase property and income taxes to bring in an additional $3 million next year.

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