Berkeley Co. approves new salary structure

February 17, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A new salary structure approved Thursday by the Berkeley County Commission will improve the ability to attract and retain qualified applicants, the county's Human Resources Director told commissioners Thursday.

"We will be competitive. We will see the impact of this new scale immediately when we try to recruit for positions under the new pay grades," said Alan Davis, who has been working to revise the county's job classification and compensation schedule since last year.

Davis said the $564,234 plan, which will cover the county's 227 full-time budgeted positions, will add about $285,000 to presently projected payroll cost increases and will give the county a more uniform pay structure, eliminating a current system of 22 pay grades and 60 classifications. The county currently budgets $6,142,501 for wages and salaries.


Commission President Howard Strauss said the new salary structure follows continuing efforts by the commission to improve county workers' pay.

"We have made a dramatic increase over the last five years of steadily improving these salaries," said Strauss, adding that by addressing qualification requirements, taxpayers also should see a benefit in an improved work force.

The new pay structure will be adopted for the 2006-07 fiscal year.

In an interview last month, Davis called the current system a "hodgepodge" of positions that is not fully understood by employees, is perceived to be inequitable, and fails to be competitive.

The new system is composed of two separate pay scales, a law enforcement scale with six pay grades and another pay scale for non-law enforcement workers with 18 pay grades, Davis said.

The new structure includes a 60 percent spread between minimum and maximum compensation levels, that allows employees to begin to see pay increases into a mid-level range after three to five years of employment, Davis wrote in a two-page Feb. 14 memorandum.

The new structure also indicates which positions are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Davis told commissioners.

Davis said he also is committed to doing annual market surveys to keep track of changes in in-demand positions, such as planners and engineers.

"We don't want to get behind the eight ball and have to make up a lot of distance that we've lost," he said.

How they voted

The Berkeley County Commission approve a new pay structure for the county's 227 full-time budgeted positions.

Yes: Howard Strauss, Steve Teufel and Ron Collins

No: None

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