The Rockdale County Commissioners want to give their employees salary increases in 2015, but there’s a bit of a difference in how and when the pay increases should be executed.
Rockdale County Chairman Richard Oden is proposing an incentive based plan where every county employee, except those in the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, will be eligible for a two percent spike in annual pay if they meet or exceed expectations based on their 2014 performance evaluations.
This should cover at least 98 percent of county employees and pay increases should start around the last pay period in the June 2015. The cost to the budget next year would about $256,000.
Post 2 County Commissioner JaNice Van Ness inquired as to why salary hikes wouldn’t start at the beginning of next year versus at the beginning of the summer. The answer given was that performance evaluation wouldn’t be completed until April or May 2015.
“I really feel like, if we’re going to do two percent, you should’ve had the evaluations done this year,” said Van Ness. “I don’t understand the delay.”
In addition, there will also be a premium pay plan where employees can earn an up to 15 percent increase to their salaries for earning specialized certificates, degrees and diplomas relative to their job position.
“That means that you got to earn your money. Just because you put the money on the table doesn’t mean you’re going to get it,” said Oden.
Oden says that county has experienced numerous critical losses to its staff and the premium pay incentive plan is similar to what the county approved for the RCSO a year ago.
Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt is in favor of the pay incentive plan being proposed by the chairman, but he believes that all county employees should receive a five percent raise immediately at the beginning of the year first.
“We’ve gone such a number of years without giving our overall employees a pay increase which is why I propose the five percent increase,” said Nesbitt. “We will certainly incentive desired behaviors if we give all our folks a five percent across the board increase and then move into the premium plan as well as the pay for performance plan.”
Following this package of salary increase will greatly improve the retention of critical employees, said Nesbitt.
“It’s time, if we’re going to talk about employee retention, to go ahead and step up to the plate,” he said. “It’s been long overdue.”
The county commissioners will further discuss and have a first reading of the 2015 budget Nov. 25 at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street, Conyers, at 10 a.m.