MONROE, Ga. — Citing a “haywire” labor market, Chairman David Thompson asked the Board of Commissioners to approve the county government’s second round of pay raises in less than half a year.

“As everyone is aware, we did a salary increase for the employees in July,” Thompson said. “It was a 3.75% increase. Since July, the employee market has gone haywire.”

Condrey & Associates performed a study of job classifications and compensation, leading Thompson to propose another round of pay changes.

While most employees will see more money in their checks starting with the pay period that begins Nov. 8, not everyone will get a raise at the same rate.

“They’re all over the place,” Thompson told The Walton Tribune after the board met Tuesday night.

“Condrey’s a professional company and they’re recommending these raises and it also gives a step — we asked them to do this — in this pay increase, the longer you’ve worked for the county, you get a little more.”

Thompson said Condrey offered multiple options through its pay study and the one he offered the commissioners will cost the county $2.8 million per year, including added benefit costs.

“It’s a lot of money,” he said. “We can pay for this without touching our millage rate. I’m confident we can pay for it over the next two years out of our attrition this past year.”

The county earlier this year accepted the rollback millage rate, which is the property tax rate that generates level revenue for the county. It was the second straight year for the county to do so after several years of unchanged rates that were effective tax increases as property values rose.

Thompson said the pay increases would make the county more competitive in hiring, especially in law enforcement.

“I think the Sheriff’s Office has got 46 vacancies,” he said. “I think a lot of them’s in the jail facility. We’ve got to maintain good employees.”

After introducing the measure, Thompson made a motion to approve the pay changes. Commissioner Lee Bradford seconded it.

The measure passed 6-1 with Commissioner Bo Warren opposed.

Following the meeting, Thompson said county employees would hear from the human resources department how they’ll be affected by the pay raises.

He said a first-year employee will see little change.

“If you came in after July 1st, you already got part of this,” he said.

“I’m losing first responders to other counties. I’ve watched clerks go to other counties. Nothing’s been done in four years and we need to stay on top of this.”

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