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County could update pay

Consultant tells commissioners they are 3 years behind on cost-of-living raises

Staff writer

County commissioners Monday once again pondered an employee pay rate study from three years ago that commissioners never acted on.

Malayna Maes, of the McGrath HR Group, told commissioners new positions have been created for the county and that cost-of-living raises were three years behind other counties.

The average cost-of-living increase given by other counties over the last three years is 4.73%.

Maes said she’d spoken to department heads to gain insight about the new positions.

Maes showed commissioners three scenarios for increasing pay — over one year, over two years, and over three years — and how much money the budget increase would be.

She also compared average employee tenures in 2018 and 2021.

“What’s happening is you have lost a little bit of ground with the younger generation and gained a little with the older generation,” she said.

When the county loses younger workers, it becomes a training ground for other employers, she said.

The McGrath plan in 2018 recommended employees get step increases in January and cost-of-living increases in July.

Commission chairman Randy Dallke said if the county increases everyone’s wages, cuts will have to be made in other budget areas because of Kansas’ tax lid.

“You mean you didn’t find that money tree somewhere?” county clerk Tina Spencer asked.

“No,” Dallke said.

Commissioner Jonah Gehring said he’d prefer to give pay increases over one year or two years, not three years.

Dallke said he would contact the county’s certified public accountant to see if Scot Loyd can work with the county on pay increases to be implemented starting in July.

Dallke suggested putting pay increases back on the agenda in two weeks.

“I’m just ready to jump in and get it caught up,” Gehring said.

Last modified May 5, 2021

 

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