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County workers could see cost of living increases
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County workers could see a pay increase on their next paychecks if commissioners approve a 2 percent cost of living adjustment suggested by County Manager Cindy Campbell.

The adjustments would take the place of cost of living raises proposed in the county's 2015 budget, which is expected to be approved during Thursday's called meeting.

Campbell said there is about $72,000 available in the 2014 budget that could be used to give employees raises.

There was about $100,000 set aside in the current budget for a salary study and to address the results of the study, according to Commission Chairman Mike Berg.

The study, which was completed in October and cost about $25,000, showed pay for workers in many county government positions lagging behind the suggested minimum standards.

Campbell suggested the proposed increases be distributed between eight pay periods, which would include retro-active pay for employees dating back to Sept. 12.

"Those employees would receive retro pay for five pay periods and then their regular pay would be increased by the 2 percent for the remainder of the year," Campbell said. "They would receive a lump sum payout for those retro periods that have already passed."

The increases would be for regular fulltime and part time employees.

"It would not include temporary or seasonal or supplemental employees. It would not include elected officials or employees whose salaries are set by the state," Campbell said.

Of the projected $72,000 in raises, an estimated $25,000 would be distributed to employees at the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, Berg said.

In recent months, there has been contention with Sheriff Billy Carlisle over his department's budget.

He has been outspoken about his intention to stand up for employees, who have not received a raise in more than six years, an issue he said has been detrimental to his department.