Guilford commissioners approve pay increase for county employees
Guilford County government employees will soon get a boost in pay.
The increases will take effect this year.
All Guilford County employees will receive a 5% pay increase. The measure was passed unanimously during a recent work session by the board of commissioners. It will replace an average 3% merit increase planned for January.
The goals are to make the county more competitive with other cities and local governments and to improve base pay across the board.
As of last week, there were more than 300 department vacancies, with law enforcement, public health and animal services having the highest need. Guilford County Manager Michael Halford recommended the changes and says the increase will also apply to unfilled positions.
“We have never changed the starting pay, and so as I’m looking for a budget director now, as we are looking for an EMT or as we are looking for a social worker, that beginning pay hasn’t changed in four years and that’s creating a real struggle for us,” he says.
The increases will cost around $1.7 million this fiscal year. Halford says that’s a drop in the bucket compared to overtime the county will pay, which is estimated to be more than $6 million.
The pay bump for county employees will take effect on November 7.
More discussion on the topic will take place in the coming months.
Halford says the board instructed him to work with human resources to study the county’s overall pay structure, and those findings will be reported back to commissioners within 90 days.
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