A big freeze
Nearly 400 Carbon County employees will not see a raise in their paychecks this year, officials report.
During the annual Carbon County Salary Board meeting on Monday afternoon, the board voted to forgo pay raises this year for 375 of the 390 county employees, in the hope of helping to close a $5 million deficit in the county budget.
Fifteen employees, on the other hand, under the AFSCME professional union contract, will see a 3 percent raise in 2013.
Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman of the salary board, explained that the move to freeze employee pay for 2013 will save the county roughly "a quarter-million dollars."
He added that the 15 employees who will receive an increase were asked to forgo the raise, but the members of that union voted against the freeze.
Nothstein said that those 15, which are comprised of members of the adult probation office, juvenile court, and domestic relations, will now have to pay their co-pays per the contract. The non-union employees will not have to do that, he noted.
In addition, two other unions within the county, the AFSCME union and Teamsters, are currently in negotiations with the county and have not received raises to date.
Following a number of salary board votes, including a defeated motion by county Public Defender Gregory Mousseau, who asked for a 41-cent raise for his legal secretary because he felt it was the right thing to do since she has had an increase in workload due to higher court case volume, Nothstein said that the county would have loved to give raises this year, but finances are tight.
"I understand your position," he told Mousseau. "There are other county employees who are just as valued, most county employees are, and there are some who are lower paid than that ($13.55 an hour). There is nothing more than this salary board and this board of commissioners would like to do than reward those people for their hard work.
"I know all our department heads want to see their employees get a raise, but there comes a point in time when we have to realize we're lucky we have jobs right now," Nothstein continued. "Hopefully this year will go a lot better than the previous year."
In addition to actions to freeze employee salaries for 2013, the board also voted on a number of changes and abolishments to various departments.
Nothstein said the abolishments were mainly positions that were not filled, summer positions, part-time positions, and intern positions. Only two were employment separations.
These actions included:
• Abolish the position of one part-time court reporting monitor at $12.04 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the position of one summer law clerk at $13 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the positions of two summer interns at $8 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the position of one summer intern at $8 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Establish the position of one adult probation officer I at $14.75 per hour, effective Jan. 7.
Area Agency on Aging
• Establish the position of one aging care manager II at $13.94 per hour, effective, Jan. 7.
• Establish the position of one part-time community health nurse I* at $19.62 per hour, effective Jan. 7.
• Abolish the position of one community health care nurse I at $16.45 per hour, effective Jan. 7.
• Change on-call pay from supervisor $25 per day to supervisor $25 per Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, effective Jan. 7.
• Establish the on-call pay for supervisor at $35 per Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, effective Jan. 7.
• Change on-call pay from caseworker $40 per day to caseworker $40 per Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays, effective Jan. 7.
Children and Youth
• Abolish the position of one county caseworker I at $13.29 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Establish the position of one Live Scan operator/corrections clerk at $10.40 per hour, effective Jan. 7.
• Abolish the position of one chief ranger at $15.67 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the position of one part-time seasonal park maintenance at $8.25 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the position of one park attendant at $7.65 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
• Abolish the position of one clerk at $15.67 per hour, effective Jan. 1.
*Excluded from retirement plan not anticipated to work 1,000 hours.