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County takes another step in P4P employee plan

The pay for performance (P4P) program for county employees took another step toward completion Tuesday morning when the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution for a union pay plan and adjustments.

Although union sheriff's department personnel and highway department employees have yet to negotiate a new contract, the resolution completes the wage restructuring process across the board.

The resolution covers 154 union employees and merges two collective bargaining units into one wage grid, said County Administrator Pat Thompson.

The new scale resulted from a wage study by a consulting firm hired by the board. The board approved a P4P plan for non-union employees last August.

The new grid rearranged pay levels and freezes some positions at their current rate at the top of the scale, about 19 percent. About 8 percent were between the minimum scale and midpoint and the bulk, 112 employees or 72 percent, fell between the midpoint and maximum pay for their positions, said Tammy Funk, human resources director.

A one-time bonus is scheduled so employees don't lose ground with the changeover and amounts to about 3 percent, she said.

"The total cost to implement this is about $216,000," Funk said.

"Advancement through the wage grid once employees get on it, will not be automatic," said Thompson. "It will all be based on performance.

"We are one of the few counties in the state that has gone full throttle to pay for performance."

Supervisor Agnes Ring said," I think this is the right thing for the county. We, as a board, have to think of all the employees."

Funk said the bargaining process was still ongoing with the sheriff's department because the Schaffhausen murder trial is stressing their resources. She speculated the bargaining process would get back on track by the end of April.

The process "will be finished this year," she said.

The board passed the resolution 15-1. Chris Kilber voted against and Tom Hawksford, Fred Horne and Brian Hurtgen were absent.

See Page 2A of the April 4 print edition of the Star-Observer for more on this meeting.