2009-12-13 / Front Page

County implements wage study

BY CHRIS OGRYSKI EDITOR

HURON COUNTY – Many county employees got a Christmas bonus of sorts recently, as the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously this past Tuesday to implement a wage study conducted by Rahmberg, Stover and Associates, LLC earlier this year.

The study would be implemented retroactively to January 1, 2009 and called for many county employees to receive raises as a new step system was implemented. “This has been (a) long and contentious (process),” said Personnel Committee Chair James Leonard. “It is time to put his to bed.”

Leonard noted that after months of working with department heads on their concerns with the study, there were a “few unresolved issues that will remain unresolved for six months (or so).”

The resolution that passed stated that “no salary (shall) be decreased, but rather frozen in those instances where the present salary exceeds the recommended salary or recommended salary plus annual cost of living adjustments.”

While several of the 75 employees that were under the study will be frozen under the new system, a majority of them will be receiving at least some raise.

The resolution also made clear that the study would be implemented immediately not just for union employees, but for 23 non-union employees as well. “It is also the intention of the Board that the Employee Wage and Salary System will be addressed for all union employees as negotiations for each unit come due.”

The new system calls for review of employee’s position and salary “every three years.”

The Wage and Salary Study was first formally introduced to county employees in a mid-June meeting. At that time, Karine Stover of Rahmberg, Stover and Associates, LLC presented and explained a recently completed “Report on Updated Employee Wage and Salary System.”

The report explained, “Since more than 15 years have elapsed since the existing wage and salary system was developed (with an update conducted over eight years ago) and because numerous concerns have been raised regarding matters of internal equity, the county concluded it would be prudent to develop an updated wage and salary system consistent with the current jobs and operating environment.”

The study examined 75 positions, in seven bargaining units plus non-union positions, but did not include county commissioners, judges, elected officials, health department and road commission jobs.

Rahmberg, Stover and Associates, LLC also offered several recommendations to the county, including a suggestion that the responsibility for ongoing administration of the system with a single person. They noted that without a human resources professional on staff, the responsibility would fall to the commissioners.

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