Douglas County approves staff raises and 'inflation stipend'

The 4% raise kicks in with July 31 paychecks

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Douglas County staff members will soon receive a bump in their paychecks after the county commissioners approved a 4% raise for employees.

Employees who make less than $80,000 per year will also receive a $200 per month “inflation stipend” until December. 

“I think it will be exceedingly well-received by staff,” said Laura Leary, the county’s human resources manager.

In April, Leary told commissioners that some managers would say they were experiencing a “staffing crisis” after the commissioners had delayed approving raises. Leary said the county was seeing “historically high” turnover and “historically low” numbers of applicants for positions. 

Leary originally recommended a raise be enacted for the June 30 paychecks, which would have needed to be approved in May. With the latest decision, the increase will be on the July 31 paychecks.

Finance director Martha Marshall said the move would be paid by the fund balance and through savings from vacancies and will not cause any debt. She noted that some vacancy savings have been depleted as employees have been asked to work overtime. 

This year, raises will cost the county about $2.1 million and the $200 stipends will cost about $1.1 million. She projects next year’s cost will be about $4.2 million. 

The commissioners unanimously approved the action as it was recommended by Leary and agreed to continue monitoring the market for other adjustments.

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