The Barry County Board of Commissioners approved a three-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement with the Barry County Courthouse Employees Association, Commissioner and commission chair Ben Geiger announced Monday.
The agreement covers 70 of the county’s 271 employees from May 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2020.
“Barry County’s workforce has changed greatly since 1998, when the last compensation study was implemented,” Geiger said. “Today I’m proud to report that Barry County has both a new agreement and a new commitment for retaining and attracting great people. “
A 2015 Segal Waters study compared the county’s compensation with other governments and the private sector, and also studied the accuracy of job classifications and descriptions, he said.
“The study resulted in more accurate job descriptions, but also found Barry County wages were significantly behind public and private sector comparables,” he said.
Last year, a workgroup of administrative staff, elected officials and employee association representatives used the Segal Waters study to draft a plan for a new job evaluation and classification structure, Geiger continued. “This plan was designed to make county wages more consistent internally, and more competitive in the labor market. The agreement reached today incorporates much of that plan.”
Highlights of the agreement:
* Continuing with precedent, the county board extended the same agreement to General Fund non-represented employees and department directors.
* Thirteen positions, 21 employees, will receive a new job description and two percent raises in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, bringing them closer to market wages.
* Forty seven positions, 68 employees, will receive a new job description, and by 2020, gradually receive salary increases also bringing them closer to market rate.
* The cost of the agreement in 2017 is $89,277 based on the effective May 1 date, and will largely be paid for by projected growth in the county’s tax base, and a decreased focus on capital improvement funds, Geiger said.