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Some Washington County employees to get additional pay hike if budget OK'd

April 18, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

The Washington County Commissioners will attempt to fix "bad" payroll precedent set by the last board by adding a $350,000 Band-Aid to its budget for fiscal year 2008.

The commissioners decided Tuesday to give a $1,000 flat pay increase next year to nearly 353 full-time, nonuniformed county employees who did not benefit from an additional 4 percent cost-of-living increase handed out by the previous board.

County Administrator Gregory Murray said he is not certain what motivated the previous commissioners to award one-third of the county's nonuniformed employees the additional pay increase, but said the county cannot afford to pay the remaining employees the same amount.

In an effort to restore some equity, Acting Human Resources Director Dee Hawbaker suggested the board pay the remaining employees the flat $1,000.

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"This allows for fair and equitable distribution to all employees," she said in her presentation to the board.

Murray explained that $1,000 will work out to an average increase of 2.3 percent for the eligible 353 employees.

If the new budget is approved, the county will award the flat increase in addition to a 3.5 percent merit increase budgeted for all qualifying nonuniformed employees.

Commissioners were divided on whether to lower the annual merit increase from the recommended 3.5 percent to 3 percent with President John F. Barr breaking the tie.

To ensure objective salary increases are applied in the future, the board chose to reinstate the Salary Review Committee.

Formed to review inequities discovered during the 2003 Springstead Salary Study, the committee only functioned for about a year, Hawbaker said.

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