County Approves New Pay Plan

After a lengthy explanation of how the consulting firm and the country arrived at it, the Door County Board of Supervisors approved new pay structure for county employees that everyone hopes has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.

County Administrator Ken Pabich told the supervisors that in the beginning they were just going to update the current pay plan, but after hiring the Carlson Dettmann Consulting firm to assist, it was decided to do a “wall-to-wall” rebuild of the county’s compensation plan.

Explaining that there was “indeed a method to our madness,” Patrick Glynn, senior consultant with Carlson Dettmann Consulting, said the pay rates were determined by studying pay rates in other counties of northeastern Wisconsin as well as those of private employers. In so doing, they were able to determine that 85 percent of Door County employees are paid at the “market rate.”

He also warned that the county could face a talent gap in the not-too-distant future when the aging workforce retires. He said two-thirds of the county workforce has retirement on the mind.

“I would hazard a guess that in five to 15 years, you will have a significant workforce turnover,” Glynn said, adding that in order to recruit new workers to fill those positions, the county’s “base-paying compensation needs to be rock solid.”

The county administrator position is at the top of the county pay scale, ranging from $50.61 to $66.52 an hour. Corporation counsel and Human Services director are next, with a rate ranging from $44.05 to $57.89 an hour. The lowest hourly rate goes to the nutrition site manager/cook on Washington Island, with a rate ranging from $12.46 to $16.38.

Pabich told the supervisors that the process for arriving at these rates went well because department heads were included in the discussion from the start. “That helped move it forward,” he said.

The board also increased by $1 the part-time pay rates for non-sworn reserve deputies (to $14 an hour) and sworn reserve deputies ($15.75 an hour), and approved an additional four hours a week for a Human Services disability specialist (from 24 hours to 32), the addition of two part-time cooks at the Senior Center, and a financial manager for Human Services.

The county board will next meet on Nov. 15 for the annual budget hearing. That meeting will include a briefing on the most recent visit of county employees to sister city Jingdezhen, China, and the annual fair meeting.

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