Jefferson County Commissioners approved the county’s salary administration policy updates that were proposed by HR Manager Rebecca Squires during their meeting on Nov. 15.

According to Squires, these updates were to handle some deficiencies seen within the departments.

One of the aspects Squires brought up was temporary and seasonal employees. Squires mentioned the idea is, when a department hires a temporary/seasonal employee, they look for what a good base rate is. For example, $8 an hour would be a base rate, and that would be their Step 1 for that position. If the base rate is lower than a grade, then raises can’t occur anymore often than every six months and increases would be limited to no more than 2% of the current rate.

According to Squires, the reason 2% was selected was because she looked at the Step and Grade charts and determined what the average increase was.

“This equalizes and normalizes what we are doing with our seasonal employees,” said Squires.

Commissioner Scott Hancock stated this gives the county structure in their seasonal employment positions. Hancock thinks, since they have seasonal employees, they don’t know how good they are going to be or their responsibilities, so they can then then be regraded.

Commissioner Roger Clark reaffirmed, if someone can do more and turns out they can meet the expectations, then that person could be given a raise. Clark said, right now, it’s difficult to hire someone for work, let alone get someone to work for $8.

Squires stated the reason they have a Step and Grade is so people are paid based on their merits, and also so no one is playing favorites.

Clark stated they need to be careful when they hire someone, if they get involved with more things, there needs to be changes to their pay.

According to Squires, they could do a wage study to see what the current rate is to hire someone.

“If you have a good employee who is self-motivated, and does whatever you ask, a $1 increase isn’t a lot,” Clark said.

According to the county’s hiring policy, Squires said they don’t have to hire someone on a Step 1, based on their experience; they could hire someone up to a Step 5.

Squires also made the point that employees who have been working for the county for a while may feel frustrated if they hear a seasonal employee received a $1 an hour increase though the county’s employee has been working for several years.

The commissioners then agreed to have a seasonal employee receive a 5% increase every two months as a raise. Squires clarified that it will not be mandated, but it can be used at the discretion of the employer and the qualifications of the employee.

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