YORK – A compensation study, to determine how county employees’ wages and salaries compare with other counties and in the private sector, has been officially approved by the commissioners.
During the budget process, the commissioners considered raises while holding spending, having lengthy conversations about what is competitive, what is reasonable, what can be afforded.
They agreed a wage study – now being called a compensation study – should be performed.
The good news is that within the county’s new contract with the HR firm, Zelle, in Lincoln, this type of servics is already included in the scope of what the county is paying for. In other words, the study won’t cost the county any additional money.
This week, Maddi Hughes and Kate Abendroth from Zelle met with the county board members.
“This is a unique project as we have a lot of avenues down which we can go,” Abendroth said. “As a partner of NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials), we are already working with them on a compensation study for all 93 counties. But other counties won’t have the relationship like we have with you (because of the existing contract and already working together) in implementing it.”
She asked if the county board wanted to wait for the statewide study to be completed before they embark on a separate study for just York County.
“I think we want that information before we start on budget next year,” said Commissioner Randy Obermier. “I’d personally like to get moving forward with it. It’s part of our contract with Zelle.”
She asked about the parameters they wanted to set, how far to look out, etc.
“You will need to decide who you want the county positions to be compared with, we can look at compensation in all of those areas,” Abendroth said. “We can look across all types of industries. It’s ultimately up to you, this group, the commissioners. Creating a plan with a subcommittee would be important as well. Then we will run with it, bring back the information and form the goals with all of you.”
“I think because we are on the budget committee, we can jump into this now,” Obermier said to Commissioner Daniel Grotz, regarding the subcommittee. “And again, finding there was no additional cost made my day.”
“Keeping good people in York County is the goal,” said Hughes.
“When we get rolling, the communication will be with the whole board,” Obermier said. “The main reason I wanted this is I really want to see how we match up with our wages and salaries.”
“We have been calling it a wage study, but you call it a compensation plan,” Grotz said to Abendroth. “You look at bonuses, benefits, education, everything, correct?”
Abendroth said yes, that was the case, as all those aspects are parts of compensation employees receive. “We look at the whole package.”
All the commissioners voted in favor of moving forward with the compensation study.