The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved a two percent raise for all county employees during its Jan. 16 voting session.
At the Dec. 19, 2019 voting session, the board voted to table a new salary study until its Jan. 16 meeting where the board took a vote and unanimously approved $836,000 to be spent on a 2% raise for county employees, as well as an increase in benefits.
The salary study’s goals, according to the presentation, are to “perform a compensation/classification study for all county positions, comparing compensation to relevant labor markets/competitors, and ensure that positions performing similar work with essentially the same level of complexity, responsibility and knowledge, are classified together.”
The salary study looked at 333 positions in 139 job titles. It’s the second salary study the county has conducted since 2017.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction. I mean, it’s putting us off of the bottom into the middle sector of competition that we’re with for our employees at the moment,” Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond said. “We said from the very beginning when we started this whole process that we would look at this in a holistic process to where we looked at everything – benefits, insurance, salary, retirement, what was in our handbook, how we could make those improvements and you’ll see as we work through tonight, that we have done that, that we do have the best interests of our employees in heart.”
The salary study’s 100% option was approved by the board, but the board will revisit the study in June to take a look at stepping up to the 105% option.
“I’m glad we can do this. I wish we could do more. I wish we could go with the 110%, but we’ve also got to be fiscally responsible as we can be,” District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett said.
If Dawson County approves the 105% option in June, it would put the county into the 70 to 75 percentile, making the county more competitive for its employment benefits and salaries.
“I like the idea of getting up to the level where we’re at a base and then regrouping and seeing where we’re at mid-year,” District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines said. “I mean historically we’ve made some of those changes mid-year to begin with after we’ve been through the end of our budget cycle, finalizing the budget cycle to give us a better understanding of where we wind up.”
“This is a step in the right direction but it’s not completed,” Gaines continued.