Moffat County OKs plan for compensation

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Every Moffat County employee will receive a pay raise Jan. 1, but for some, it won't be nearly as large as it could have been.

Moffat County commissioners approved an employee compensation plan Thursday by a 2-1 vote. Commissioner Saed Tayyara cast the dissenting vote.

The plan will move up the midpoint for every employee's wage by about 2.5 percent. The exact percentage won't be known for a few weeks.

Moving the midpoint will mean a raise for every employee, but the size of the raise will depend on how long the employee has been with the county and his or her current salary.

Employees who have had their wages frozen because they earn more than the midpoint will get a smaller raise. The county employs 284 people.

Commissioners had Human Resources Director Lynette Running start work on the new compensation plan earlier this year.

One of the problems with the existing plan, Running said, is that it had not been adjusted for 2005.

It also has only minor differences in pay rates between supervisors and their subordinates. That meant employees would see only minimal raises if they took a promotion.

In the Road and Bridge Department in particular, that has made it tough to get employees to take promotions, Director Bill Mack said.

Commissioners had Running conduct a survey of other counties earlier this year to determine a market value of county jobs.

The results indicated some county employees should have received raises of about 20 percent.

Running presented the commissioners with two options: keep the current plan and adjust it for 2005 and 2006 costs or implement a new system based on the survey.

Commissioners voted to keep the current plan and adjust it for 2005 and 2006. The plan commissioners approved Thursday doesn't address the difference in pay between supervisors and their subordinates.

Commissioners continued with the existing plan in part because they had concerns about the information Running collected.

Running looked at the salaries of county employees in nine counties, including metropolitan counties such as Mesa, Pueblo and Weld, which commissioners felt weren't similar enough to Moffat County.

During a public comment period Thursday, county employees voiced concerns about comparing Moffat County's salaries to those of much larger counties.

Running originally surveyed 11 counties of similar size, but only five replied. To get enough data for the survey, Running then surveyed larger counties.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara said he voted against the plan because it doesn't address what Moffat County employees make compared to other counties.

In the long run, Tayyara said, rejecting the new plan will cost the county more money because the county eventually will have to address it.

Commissioners Tom Gray and Darryl Steele said keeping Moffat County wages similar to other counties will always be an ongoing issue.

Gray and Steele said comparing Moffat County to other counties is difficult because Moffat County has a different cost of living and a different economy than others.

The plan commissioners approved also will replace sick pay with longevity pay, but how much employees will get for longevity wasn't determined Thursday.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com

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