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Hall County recommends police pay increases
In these rough economic times, wouldn't it be nice to get a little more in your paycheck? Well, for some Hall County law enforcement positions, this could be a reality.
That's if the Board of Supervisors agree they need a pay raise.
The Hall County Merit Commission recommended an increase of about ten percent. But this is purely a suggestion, and now the supervisors, will begin negotiations with the deputies' union.
"Well, I would say in these economic times, that it would be, those are large numbers," said Hall County Board of Supervisors Chair Pamela Lancaster.
The numbers referred to, are the law enforcement wage increases that were proposed by the Merit Commission.
The recommended raises are a 10 percent hourly increase for deputies, 8 percent wage hike for sergeants, and 11 percent increase for captains.
"It does not carry any force upon the county board, it's not binding upon the county board, by statute, it's merely a recommendation," said County Chief Negotiator Jerry Janulewicz.
The Merit Commission is proposing the pay increase because Hall County pay numbers are lower than those in similarly sized counties.
"That commission looked at various counties they felt were comparable counties and made certain recommendations regarding deputy pay in Hall County," Janulewicz said.
For example, in Hall County, deputies are paid between $15.62 and $21.39.
Compared to Adams County, where the pay is between 16.24 and 23.35.
Buffalo County, which is between 17.14 and 23.43.
And Madison County, where deputies are paid between 16.90 and 22.54.
If the requested increase were given for Hall County, the amount would raise to between 17.25 and 23.50, making them the largest, and highest paying county of those compared.
"In Hall County we strive to pay fairly, reasonably, but also competitively, because we at Hall County, like every other county, we cannot afford to pay wages greater than what's required, but we want to make sure that we pay our people adequately," said Lancaster.
But is a 10 percent increase, needed?
"Do the numbers sound high? Of course, you know in today's economy it's very difficult to look at those kinds of numbers, but whether or not they're justified, I just simply don't know," Lancaster said.
The Board of Supervisors discussed negotiation strategies in closed session Tuesday.
They say that they will now begin union negotiations. Hopes are to have an agreement by the time the current labor contracts are up on June 31st.
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