County workers in Gainesville have gone without a pay increase for six-consecutive years, but, at the final budget hearing last night, a new plan for raises was approved that piqued the interest of Historic City News editor, Michael Gold.
After six years of nothing, county employees will receive either a 1.5 percent raise or an $850 pay bump, depending on their salaries. Anyone making $56,667 or more will receive a 1.5 percent raise; those making less will get an $850 pay bump.
“It costs the county more than a flat 3 percent across-the-board raise that the county initially planned, but it’s the workers on the low end of the pay scale that see the greater benefit; as a percentage of their salaries,” Gold observed. “Alachua County is similar to St Johns County, demographically, in our region; however, how we pay county employees is not.”
Recent reporting of an unannounced move by County Commission Chairman John “Jay” Morris that led to approval of a $21,000 pay raise for the highest paid county worker, County Administrator Michael Wanchick, brings into focus two areas where the counties differ.
First, around 83% of the Alachua County workforce makes less than $56,667 per year, according to a published report that appeared in today’s Gainesville Sun. St Johns County, from a 2012 payroll report obtained by Historic City News, indicates that of 1,187 Board of County Commissioners employees, closer to 90% earn less than $56,667.
And, the average salary of the 10% that do is over $75,000 per year, plus benefits.
Historic City News will obtain an updated payroll report, after October 1, indicating the new salaries of all county workers; including those working for constitutional officers and the St Johns County School District, whose numbers are not included in these totals.
At that time, we will publish comparisons for “regular” employees, who arguably are the people doing all the work, and “executive” employees, who are paid more than twice the average annual income for citizens employed in the county that they serve.