Hamilton County to update 2016 pay scales
By Navar Watson
Entry-level employees for Hamilton County might see an increase in their minimum salary next year. The county council, which hired a consulting firm to analyze county salaries, decided to adjust pay scales at its May 26 meeting.
“The purpose of the survey was to update the pay scales to be competitive in recruiting and retaining talented employees,” said Addie Rooker, senior consultant of Waggoner, Irwin, Scheele & Associates.
The firm compared salaries of Hamilton County employees to salaries of Allen, Lake and Marion county workers. It also compared county salaries to those of city workers in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and Westfield. Cities often pay higher than counties, Rooker said.
County employees are categorized into different classification levels. The firm proposed new pay scales for each job level.
The council decided to adjust its pay ranges based on an average, or “middle road,” of city and county ranges, Councilman Brad Beaver said.
According to this data, the lowest job level in the county (clerical positions) would increase its minimum salary from $24,178 to $26,932. The minimum salary of the highest job level (administrative positions) would jump from $66,784 to $73,647.
Based on these numbers, the county would spend $124,125 to make sure everyone meets the minimum, affecting 64 positions. The data was based on 2015 salaries, as the 2016 budget has not been established.
Amid the decision, Beaver reminded everyone of the “big picture.” Though pay ranges will increase, tax revenue stays consistent. The “income stream is flat,” he said.
Still, Beaver said updated pay scales would prevent losing workers to positions in other counties or cities.
“We want to pay the fair, going rate for the people who work for us,” he said. “Getting and keeping good employees is the key to any organization.”