Commissioners OK county pay raises

April 27, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll County Commissioners have approved raises of 3 percent to 8 percent for county employees in the next fiscal year.

Lowest-paid employees would get about 8 percent and the highest-paid employees would get 3 percent, officials said yesterday. The raises would be paid after July 1, when fiscal 1995 begins.

The commissioners announced the raises in an April 11 memo to staff members. The increases will not become final until the commissioners approve the fiscal 1995 operating budget in late May.

If it is approved, the plan would cost the county $447,482, said Jeffrey K. Topper, the county's operating budget and revenue supervisor.

Carroll has about 500 full-time employees. Its fiscal 1995 operating budget is expected to be about $142 million.

The proposed raises are not as high as employees requested. Last month, Chapter 550 of the Maryland Classified Employees Association asked for raises that would have cost the county about $1 million.

The association, which does not bargain officially with the commissioners, asked for a $1,500 pay increase for all employees, plus a 2.5 percent increase for those with four to eight years of service and a 5 percent increase for those with nine to 14 years of service.

Chapter President Ed Bilz said yesterday that he could not comment on the commissioners' proposal without first discussing it with chapter members. Members will meet in the next few weeks, he said.

Last year, county employees received their first pay raises since 1990. In March, 1993, each employee received a $500-a-year raise as the result of an unexpected savings on county health insurance claims. In July, each employee received a $1,000-a-year raise in the fiscal 1994 operating budget.

Commissioners Donald I. Dell and Elmer C. Lippy said yesterday that the decision to give employees raises in fiscal 1995 was unanimous.

Employees on the first 10 steps of the pay scale will receive a raise of 52 cents per hour or 3 percent a year, whichever is greater. For most of those employees, that will mean a raise of about $1,000 a year.

Employees on the top five steps of the pay scale will receive a 3 percent raise.

"This definitely boosts the lower end of the pay scale," said Jimmie L. Saylor, the human resources and personnel director.

The lowest annual wage on the proposed scale is $14,333. The highest is $80,767.

The commissioners also said they will increase some employees' pay based on performance.

Merit raises had been discontinued for two years because of a severe budget crunch, Mrs. Saylor said, but were reinstated this fiscal year at flat rates of $250 and $500.

The commissioners are proposing merit increases on a sliding scale starting in July. Employees on the first five steps of the pay scale will receive 2.5 percent annual pay raises if their supervisors decide they meet job standards. They will receive 5 percent raises if they exceed the standards.

Employees on the remaining steps will receive 2 percent raises if they are judged "competent," 3.5 percent raises if their work is "commendable" and 5 percent raises if they are considered "distinguished."

Those who receive "unsatisfactory" or "marginal" ratings will not get merit raises, Mrs. Saylor said.

Employees who work for agencies that are associated with the county, such as the public library, Health Department and Carroll Community College, also are slated to receive 3 percent pay raises, Mr. Topper said.

Board of Education employees will receive 3 percent raises in fiscal 1995 as part of a contract negotiated by the school board and employee unions last year.

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