IN BRIEF: Personnel system issues dominated budget discussions Tuesday for the Rockdale County 2013 budget proposals, particularly for public safety departments, as more personnel and a payscale revision was sought.
Evergreen Solutions, a human resources consulting company hired earlier this year to study the county's job classification and payscale, presented the results of their survey and study to the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. Brian Wolfe, a manager with Evergreen Solutions, said the county's existing pay and personnel plan was structurally sound and commended the designer of the system, but recommended a few revisions to bring it in line with the market average.
Rockdale County's range between its highest paid and lowest paid positions, a 60 percent average difference, was a bit wider than the market's 55 percent average. Rockdale County employees have also not had a cost of living increase or pay increase in years.
Wolfe recommended bringing up the minimum pay floor by 3 percent and then instituting a 2 percent COLA increase for all employees starting June 2013.
He also recommended creating a separate pay plan for fire department employees who have 24 hour shifts.
"You want to be competitive with the market but not necessarily lead the market," Wolfe said.
Other findings presended included responses from the anonymous survey of all county employees. Employees suggested looking at pay for performance and moving towards a living wage, which would be about $10.10 per hour for the lowest paid employees in the metro Atlanta area. Many felt their jobs had drifted from the original descriptions and that they were performing functions outside of their duties. Many also expressed that jobs were being created for individuals to circumvent the existing pay freeze and give certain individuals a promotion and pay increase.
Chairman Richard Oden quickly said, "We found that so true in 2009 coming in. That was one of the common complaints."
Wolfe said there could be a residual effect from prior years. "There's a bit of a hangover effect there. It takes seven years to build a culture but it can be torn down in two weeks."
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