FLOYD COUNTY — Results from a compensation study paid for by the Floyd County Council show that many salaries for county employees lag behind the external market.

“We spent the last couple of years trying to make some progress in bringing salaries up. It was time to make sure we had third party data to support the decisions that we were trying to make. The study does show that we need to make some progress in that area,” Council Vice President Denise Konkle said.

The study was completed by Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele and Associates in June after conducting interviews with department heads and elected officials and collecting salary data from other cities and counties.

Along with looking at the salaries of county employees, the study created new job descriptions for all of the roles and classified them into categories using a factor evaluation system (FES).

Not only did the study find that many county salar ies were behind comparable role salaries in the external market, but it found discrepancies between similar roles within the county.

Full-time and part-time workers doing the same work were found to be making unequal pay per hour. The study found instances of full-time workers making more than their part-time counterparts, and part-time workers making more than full-time workers. “For example, the Probation part-time Case Manager is currently paid $13.00 per hour while the full-time Case Manager is paid $20.41 per hour,” the study stated.

Contrarily, the study pointed out that the fulltime public health nurse makes $21.63 per hour, while the part-time public health nurse with the same job descriptions makes $25 per hour.

While the county uses an FES to classify jobs, it does not assign factor points to positions, making it “nearly impossible to justify or defend the compensation of positions,” according to the study.

Looking at external market salaries, the study defined midpoints for each role, or the average pay rate of that job, along with the low and high rates.

Konkle said that she is not sure if they will be able to get to the midpoint in the next year but they can make some headway.

“I really think that somehow people think that we’re going to be able to get there all this year and I really don’t think we can, and I hope that people can be patient with us and understand that we have to balance two sides of the coin here, between taxpayer and employees,” she said.

Council President Dale Bagshaw agreed with that sentiment, stating that he wants the council to make the best decision, both for county employees and for the taxpayers that might see the effects of raised wages.

The council will move forward discussing the study at a public workshop on July 25 to determine how the findings can be implemented.

Going forward, Bagshaw said that they need to look at the sustainability of giving raises, ensuring that it is something the county will be able to keep up three or five years out.

Konkle said that she would like to see raises put in effect this year, before the 2023 budget is decided, and she plans on bringing up the topic at the workshop this month.

At the council’s August meeting, Konkle is looking to ensure the council approves the changes to the new job descriptions and discusses a phase two salary study that will look at salaries for bargaining units, like road and corrections officers, dispatcher, etc.

The phase two study is expected to take three to four months to complete.
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