Year-end merit raises were awarded last week to non-union employees after wages were frozen for over three years. The increases are at the lower end of raises negotiated with the CSEA and police union employees who received approximately 7.7% and 14.3% increases, respectively. Approximately 150 non-union employees did not receive a raise. Almost half of the increases were given by the District Attorney’s Office which averaged 10.1% (see table below). The highest increase of 79% ($54,000) also was given by the DA’s office due to a promotion. Excluding the increases from the DA’s Office, the average increase across other elected offices is 6.0%. Elected officials were scheduled by Ordinance to receive automatic raises but declined for the 6th straight year.
The overall non-union raises are in line with the Comptroller’s memo from November 20th to elected officials suggesting an 8% guideline based on merit to ensure fairness between union and non-union employees. Compounded over the wage freeze period of over three years the 7.4% average increase equates to an annualized 2.4% per year. The raises will add $3.44 million to the County’s payroll during 2015. However, there are currently 112 fewer ordinance employees compared to four years ago representing a net payroll saving of approximately $12 million.
“I am pleased to see that the non-union employee salary increases followed guidelines to ensure parity and fairness with union employees and were based on merit,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “The elected officials struck a good balance between fiscal responsibility and the need to retain and motivate talented employees who were asked to take on an increased work load during the three year wage freeze and decrease in employee headcount.”