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Sullivan commissioner calls for raise for county employees beginning in July

June 12th, 2007 12:00 am by J. H. Osborne

BLOUNTVILLE - Sullivan County Commissioner Wayne McConnell has officially submitted a proposal to give county employees a pay raise for the fiscal year (FY) that begins July 1.

Last week McConnell said he would ask the Sullivan County Commission to give county employees the same 5.25 percent pay raise endorsed by the Sullivan County Board of Education for county school system employees.

On Tuesday he introduced a resolution that "no employees receive less than a 3 percent COLA (cost of living adjustment) and a 2.25 percent pay adjustment" for FY 2008.

The resolution begins with a statement that Sullivan County "made a commitment to the employees with the implementation of the Pay Plan in 2006."

The county commission hired an outside consultant to conduct a salary study last year of all non-school departments.

That study was accepted by the commission, along with recommendations for a pay plan to "bring all employees ... to the minimum for their salary grade."

McConnell's resolution includes points for implementation of the pay plan, taken word-for-word from a page that had been handed out to commissioners before their vote on the pay plan last year:

•"Employees whose current pay rate is within the salary grade receive one of the following: If they are within their first five years of employment, 3 percent COLA; if they are above the midpoint they would receive a 3 percent COLA; if they are below the midpoint of their salary grade and have more than five years tenure they receive an additional percentage point to bring them closer to the midpoint ( 5-10 years of employment equals 4 percent, 10-15 years of employment equals 5 percent, 15-plus years of employment equals 6 percent)."

•"Employees with more than five years of employment whose adjustment to the minimum rate is less than they would receive based on longevity will receive the difference in longevity."

Under the heading "Maintenance of the Pay Plan:"

•"Attempt to keep employees' pay current by providing annual COLA increases approximating increases in the CPI (consumer price index)."

•"Review the entire pay plan periodically (every three to five years at current rates of inflation) to ensure that the plan remains competitive."

The Sullivan County Commission is next scheduled to meet Monday at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the historic Sullivan County Courthouse.

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