The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved an 8.5% employee pay raise at the March 1, 2022 Commission meeting. The increase will be applied retroactively to January 1, 2022.
The pay increase applies to all county employees, with the following exceptions:
- County commissioners,
- Constitutional officers,
- State employees with a county supplement, and
- Poll workers
Employee Pay Raise aimed to help with Recruitment & Retention
Human Resources Director Harold Cooper and Financial Services Director David Smith made the presentation to the Board, detailing the research and analysis that went into the resolution to approve the raise.
Cooper cited the increase in inflation and said that if employees don’t receive a minimum of 5.4 percent, they are taking a pay cut. He also noted the urgency of Henry County’s recruitment situation, reporting that over the past 55 business days when this increase was first discussed, Henry County has lost 78 employees. Of that number, 61 were due to resignation.
“We’ve lost 78 employees in 55 days, with 61 due to resignations. We must act,” implored Cooper. During last month’s presentation, Cooper shared the county had over 300 vacancies.
He said the raise is sustainable. Furthermore, it will not result in a millage increase to taxpayers. It is also an important tool for recruitment and retention, as the county is competing with surrounding cities, counties and businesses to hire and retain quality employees.
This was the third time the resolution to compensate employees came before commissioners, initially beginning the discussion this past December. The board also discussed the item in February.
Employees receive 8.5% raise
Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell, who advocated for a 10.5% increase, said this is an important action the BOC needs to take.
“We’ve got to act today. Employees deserve a raise. We must remain competitive. We need to stop the bleed and we need to do the right thing as commissioners,” said Harrell. The original motion made by Harrell for a 10.5% increase failed to receive a majority approval.
District IV Commissioner Vivian Thomas made a motion for 7% which also failed a majority vote. The unanimous vote came after much discussion when District I Commissioner Johnny Wilson made a motion to split the difference. The board approved an 8.5% increase for employees.
Many surrounding communities have approved 15% and 20% raises since October, especially in public safety. Commissioners will revisit employee salaries ahead of the fiscal year 2023 budget. The board typically approves the annual budget in May before the July 1 start to the fiscal year.
Portions of this article copied from the Henry County Government press release. Featured image shows Henry County Admin Building. Photo credit Clayton Carte.
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