COUNTY LOOKING INTO SALARY STUDY
The Faulkner County Quorum Court approved a one-time salary bonus for all full-time county employees at their regular meeting Tuesday night.
The $600 one-time pay will not be added to the actual salaries for the employees. The bonuses are given as a way to reward workers without approaching a permanent raise.
“Instead of giving the employees a percentage raise each year, we gave each employee a $300 bonus at the beginning of the year and told them we would look at it again at the end of the year,” said Justice Randy Ingram, who chairs the finance and administration committee. “We looked at it at our meeting the other night and we decided we could afford $600. We wanted to give each full-time employee $600 because they didn’t get a raise this year.”
Faulkner County Judge Allen Dodson said it has been a practice of the quorum court to look at and dispense one-time bonuses instead of raising salaries each year.
“This is a one-time pay adjustment,” he said. “This will not automatically be there next year or be contemplated to be in the budget next year prior to any bonus. It’s looked at on a yearly basis”
Justice Randy Higgins said while the practice keeps the salary numbers down, the county was “on the cusp of doing a disservice.”
“What we become in danger of doing by not giving them annual increases is we get behind as a county on what our base is for our people and then two, three, four, five years down the road we have severely underpaid employees based on the market,” Higgins said. “Then, we have to cough up a large sum of money to keep our good employees.”
The quorum court is considering a salary study in addition to other personnel policy discussions. The county has hired a human resources expert to evaluate the personnel policy and is now in talks with that person about conducting a salary study to know what employees should be earning and how it measures up to the current payroll.
(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)