Trumbull commissioners approve pay increases for about 515 workers
By Ed Runyan
The Trumbull County commissioners have approved pay increases for 200 employees at the county Department of Job and Family Services and 315 nonunion employees in a number of county departments.
JFS employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 48 will earn an additional 40 cents per hour in each of the next three years with the first year being retroactive to Aug. 1, 2017.
The agreement also eliminates the so-called “pension pickup” for JFS employees hired after Jan. 1 of this year.
Pension pickup refers to the employee’s share of his or her pension. The county has been paying most of it for most employees for many years. The employee’s share is 10 percent of the employee’s pay.
A citizens budget review committee recommended this year that the commissioners end the practice of paying the employees’ share of their pensions.
The raises will cost about $166,400 more each of the three years, but the money comes from the state and federal governments, not from the county’s general fund.
The commissioners also approved increases of 35 cents per hour over each of the next three years for about 315 nonunion employees in departments such as the board of elections; clerk of courts; commissioners office; building inspection; dog kennel; human resources; building maintenance; vehicle maintenance; 911 center; sanitary engineer’s office; coroner’s office; common pleas, district, probate and family courts; planning commission; prosecutor’s office and treasurer’s office.
Richard Jackson, county human-resources director, said the nonunion employees get the same pay increases as employees in AFSCME Local 2493, who work in the commissioners, clerk of courts and treasurer’s office.
The cost to the county’s general fund for those pay increases will be $229,320 per year each of the three years.
Giving raises as cents-per-hour instead of as a percentage means the raises are the same throughout the wage scale and result in higher percentage increases for lower paid employees than higher-paid employees.
Jackson said the average age for Trumbull County employees is 49, and the county wants to encourage younger people to work for the county who make the lower wages.
The county still needs to reach agreements with bargaining units representing the 911 and recorder’s officeworkers, Jackson said.