3 affected by county pay grade plan

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

County officials hope to make a minor alteration to the recently approved pay grades for county employees after determining three would actually take a pay cut.

During the July 26 meeting, the Clark County Fiscal Court voted 4-3 to approve a pay grade plan, which assigned grades and steps based on an employee’s current salary. Magistrate Greg Elkins, who developed the assignments, said his intent was to make sure no current employees lost money.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham said his staff examined the numbers and found three instances where employees would lose money, if they stayed in the assigned grade and step.

Email newsletter signup

Each position within county government is assigned a grade, which then contains 40 steps to account for annual and longevity increases.

During the meeting, Elkins said he placed employees in the closest grade and step to their current salary, which meant several got a slight increase.

Following a lengthy discussion, Elkins’ motion added a mechanism for the fiscal court to approve necessary alterations for county employees.

Branham found three who would lose money as they were currently assigned: one in the road department who would lose nine cents an hour and one in the home incarceration who would lose one cent an hour. A third employee was recently promoted within the fire department, which was not accounted for in the assignment, Branham said.

“Everyone else at least received an increase or were flat,” Branham said.

During the Aug. 9 meeting, Branham said he would present an order for those employees to be corrected. Branham said he would also ask the court to make it retroactive to July 26, when the court approved the grades and steps.

The road department employee would then go from $12.30 an hour to $12.33 and the home incarceration worker would go from $13.73 to $13.86. Both of those were moved to the next higher step in pay, Branham said.

The county firefighter, who was promoted, would change grades and see an increase from $10.35 an hour to $11.07, he said.

There are a handful of county employees who don’t fall within the new structure and make less than the minimum salary, including deputy coroners and those working in the county attorney’s office, Branham said. The county pays a stipend for the county attorney’s staff, instead of a full salary. Gary Epperson and his staff are paid from multiple sources, including state emergency management, solid waste and the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program.

Those situations will have to be addressed by the fiscal court as well, he said.

“The biggest challenge is because we pay a stipend, we don’t pay their full salary,” Branham said.

Elected officials are not subject to the grades and steps.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

email author More by Fred