County employees will see average of 8% pay increase after study

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 24, 2021

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners discussed and selected a plan from a recent case study that will increase the salaries of county employees.

The plan discussed was from a case study conducted earlier this year by Condrey and Associates, the purpose of which was to review and revise the current pay plan for all county employees. County Manager Eric Mosley said he spent the last several months working with Condrey and Associates and county department heads to gather the data to develop a better plan to update employees’ pay.

Four options were presented from the study, and Condrey and Associates ultimately suggested Plan A, which ultimately brings in a classification change of $848,203, or 4.88%, of current payroll cost.  On top of that, there will be up to $695,362, or 3.81%, on average for employees as an equity adjustment. The total implementation cost will be over $1.5 million and will be reflected in the county’s 2021-2022 fiscal budget.

Though this plan was the most expensive one presented out of the four, the new plan places the county’s pay scale slightly about the mean of the labor market when compared to similar organizations and should prove to be effective in attracting and retaining a quality workforce, as stated in Condrey and Associates’ report.

All employees will receive a 2.5% raise, Mosley further explained, though, depending on an employee’s specific job, they may receive as much as a 4.88% raise.

Implementing the new plan will result in further pay compression, or position salaries grouped closely together regardless of length or quality of service to the organization. To help ameliorate this, Condrey and Associates recommended that a one-time equity adjustment of 3.81% be applied to employee salaries.

“On top of that raise … for employees who have been here zero to three years, [they] will get a certain amount and three or more [years] would get a certain amount,” Mosley said. “The idea would be to help lessen salary compression so that an employee who comes tomorrow isn’t making the same amount as someone who has been here three or four years.”

The case study was needed to show Troup County’s competitive salaries against other county entities, Mosley explained. 

“We’re forced to compete with Carroll County, Coweta County, Harris County and the private sector, and obviously, we’ll never be able to compete with the private sector in government but ultimately we wanted to showcase the fact that we wanted to have competitive salaries for our staff,” Mosley said.

Pay increase for county employees are not unusual, Mosley said, and some of the most recent increases approved by the board can be traced back to the early 2000s:

  • In 2004, there was 3% cost of living raise for all employees
  • In 2006, there was a merit increase of 2.5% and an additional 2.5 % cost of living increase
  • In 2007, there was a merit increase of 3% and an additional 2% cost of living increase
  • In 2008, there was a merit increase 3.25%
  • In 2011, there was a merit increase 2%
  • In 2014, there was a merit increase 2.5%
  • In 2015, there was a merit increase 3.5%
  • In 2016, there was a merit increase 2%
  • In 2018, a pay study was first conducted and resulted in an 8% increase to all county employees
  • In 2019, there was a merit increase 4%
  • In 2020, there was a 3% cost of living increase. In November 2020, the county approved a $1,000 supplement to all full-time county employees and a $500 supplement to part-time employees through the CARES fund, a total of about $450,000.

In 2021, there was a 2.5% cost of living increase. In October, the board approved a $500 vaccine incentive that about 58% of employees took advantage of. This money for this incentive was allocated from ARPA funds in the amount of $160,000.

In relation to the new plan, in January, all full-time employees will receive a $500 supplement and part-time employees will receive a $250 supplement. In June, the county will follow up with a $1,000 supplement to full-time employees and a $500 supplement to part-time employees. The cost of implementing this will be approximately $675,000.  The board additionally elected to front $1,000 supplements to all certified public safety officers. The supplements will be reimbursed through a program from the Georgia governor’s office at a later date, Mosley said, as the funds are not yet available.