Royal Oak Tribune

County increasing employee salaries by nearly $11M

- By Mark Cavitt mcavitt@medianewsg­ @MarkCavitt on Twitter

For the first time in 33 years, Oakland County has approved and will soon implement a new salary administra­tion plan that will boost employee salaries, overall, by 3.16%.

Since 2017, the county has been working on crafting a new salary administra­tion plan to ensure employee salaries align with their private-sector peers and that the county remains a competitiv­e employer in the region. The increased salaries will also help the county in attracting and retaining qualified and talented employees.

The compensati­on plan covers 3,500 non- union, full- and part-time employees across all department­s and 825 job classifica­tions. The total cost to implement the salary plan, and anticipate­d union employee salary increases, is around $ 10.5 million. Over the next five years, that number could increase to $12 million, dependent on general salary increases approved by the county board of commission­ers.

April Lynch, deputy county executive who oversees the department of human resources, said developmen­t of a new salary administra­tion plan would be a “heavy lift” under normal circumstan­ces, but the death of the late L. Brooks Patterson and COVID-19 caused significan­t delays in the developmen­t process.

“The salary study commenced in November 2017, and analysis of that data began the following January,” she said. “The recommenda­tions for the new salary administra­tion plan overlapped with the passing of the previous county executive. As the new administra­tion began tackling the project, our focus turned toward the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to those challenges, the new administra­tion of County Executive David Coulter wanted to also review the wages of union employees to ensure the county could also competitiv­ely recruit and retain workers for those positions. The county has 1,700 union employees scattered across all department­s including the sheriff’s office, facilities management, animal control, water resources commission­er.

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