Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door says she is pleased the county commission is adopting an employee salary study despite some grumbling of county departments when it was released last summer.
A major part of the study adoption will include raises for about 150 county employees who the study suggested were below their counterparts in other public/private jobs.
“I do agree with some of the salary recommendations, but feel that there is still some tweaking on other positions,” Door said. “I feel that the salary study was necessary. I just hope this salary study is implemented fairly by all elected officials and there is fair compensation for all employees.”
The study was released last summer after more than two years of back-and-forth between county departments and Arizona-based Public Sector, which compiled the data for the county at a cost of $45,000.
Last week, the county commission approved the creation of a commission order to accept the study findings and begin placing about 150 current employees into the step raise chart suggested in the study.
These raises are expected to add more than $512,734 to the county budget for salaries in 2018. This raised early concerns as all county departments are currently in budget talks with the county commissioners, who approve their budgets.
“As I prepared my budget, I based the salary information basically the same as what the commission approved,” Door said. “I took their proposed salary and estimated half in my 2018 budget and the balance in the 2019 budget. So, my budget did go up from last year. Other than salaries, there were minimal changes in my budgets.”
Since the inception of the study, two years ago, Door has contended some of the proposed salaries and job descriptions were not accurate, which may play into the proposed step raise formula.
“It will not affect everyone in my office, but I don’t agree with all of the recommendations and feel that some of the job descriptions need to be reviewed,” she said. “The clerk positions do have different grades based on the difficulty or responsibility of the job. But some offices were starting a clerk position out as say a grade 11, step 3 in order to get them the hourly wage they feel they should be hired in at. The step for all clerks should be at a step 1. The step is based on the years of service and nothing more.”
Door added she doesn’t think raises should be just based on seniority, but that absolutely plays a part in the benefits.
“In my opinion if an employee is not doing a good job, it is up to me to either try to help the employee or let them go,” she said. “If I can’t help them get up to speed in their position, I wouldn’t give them a raise. It is still my budget and I can do as I see fit with the money allocated for raises.”
The study will also guarantee the lowest hourly wage for a county employee is $12.50/hour, which may help remedy the problem of county offices being able to compete for quality workers.
“Every elected official believes in their staff and feels like they don’t make enough money based on how hard they work,” Door said. “We have very dedicated employees but, there needs to be some direction in giving raises.”
She added some employees have been working in a position for 20 years who are making less money than someone in a comparable position who has been working here seven years.
“That’s just not right,” she said. “I think that my employees all deserve raises. But I don’t think that their wages should be more than someone in another department with comparable responsibilities.”