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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Commissioners discuss pay increases

  • As they met Thursday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed ideas for awarding pay raises in 2013 including the possibility of a merit-based system.
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  • As they met Thursday, Leavenworth County commissioners discussed ideas for awarding pay raises in 2013 including the possibility of a merit-based system.
    Commissioners have budgeted an overall 3 percent increase for salaries for county employees in 2013. But they have not determined if this money will be awarded as an across the board raise or parceled out based on performance evaluations.
    Human Resources Director Diane Collins had prepared four options for commissioners to consider. One option called for a 3 percent across the board raise. The others included different levels of across the board increases with the possibility of additional raises based on performance.
    Commission Chairman John Flower also presented a proposal that would provide pay increases based on merit without an across the board raise.
    No action was taken Thursday. But County Administrator Pat Hurley and Collins plan to come back to commissioners with a proposal based on the discussion during Thursday’s meeting.
    “I think we’re all on the same page,” Hurley said.
    He and Collins plan to have the proposal ready for when commissioners meet Monday.
    For this year, county employees received an across the board 2 percent increase.
    During the discussion about Flower’s merit-based proposal, Commissioner Clyde Graeber said many of the people who would end up with the smallest level of raises or no raises hold clerical positions and do only what they were hired to do. But they still are going to be facing the same price increases for the goods they buy as other people.
    “We need to take care of them,” Graeber said.
    He also noted that everyone could be faced with a federal income tax increase depending on what happens in Washington, D.C.
    Collins said the county’s department managers do a great job of weeding out poor performers at an early stage. She doesn’t believe there are a large number of poor performers working for the county government.
    Flower said he wasn’t necessarily saying people receiving the smallest raises or no raises are bad performers, but they’re the worst of what the county has.
    He said every dollar that is given to subpar performers is taking away from the money available for raises for the “superstars.”
    Collins said she favored a merit increase system. But she doesn’t think the county should switch to a system that is totally merit-based for 2013. She suggested introducing Flower’s proposal to department managers and other employees with the idea of implementing it for 2014.
    “I’m sorry,” Flower said. “I don’t understand the reluctance. We have done this in the past. It is not new.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Flower later said the county could provide a 1 percent across the board raise with additional increases being awarded based on merit.
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