Personnel actions taken by county commissioners
By JANE UTECHT, Staff Reporter
Personnel action dominated the County Commission meeting on Tuesday. Julie Wegener, 911 director, told the commissioners that she has found a qualified person who is state certified with two years of experience who would like to work part-time.|
However, this potential employee has been making $15.03/hour dispatching in another county and would like to continue at that rate.
County Commissioner Ron Golden wondered how that request would fit in with the other employees' salaries. A quick review of dispatchers' pay rates and experience showed that two of the current full-time people were making $14 and $14.32, respectively.
Commission Chairman Scott Pedersen wondered if the disparity would become an issue outside the commission chambers. Commissioner Dan Bohl felt it would be an issue, but said that pay disparities do happen.
"I don't want unhappy dispatchers," said Wegener, adding that whether part-time or full-time, "they do exactly the same job."
Bohl noted that even after the 4-percent raises in 2014, the other three part-time dispatchers would still be making less than $15/hour.
The only thing Bohl felt would make the situation better would be to raise all dispatch salaries. "That's not cost effective either," he said.
The potential new hire is well qualified and experienced, Wegener said, but added, "I don't want to lose seasoned people" because of the disparity.
Commissioners discussed at what rate to start the new employee, allowing for a 50-cent/hour raise once the employee is county certified and considering the 4-percent raises in 2014, to maintain a balance in the department's salaries.
The commissioners accepted Carolyn Huntrod's resignation and approved offering Katie Haak $13.50 per hour, with a 50-cent raise once she is county certified. They also approved changing Matthew Feistner's job to deputy director/trainer at $15/hour. Trainers often receive "premium pay," an extra salary rate when they are training (often 50-cents/hour additional).
Bohl and Golden, the commissioners on the wage committee, will meet and recommend a possible retroactive amendment for premium pay for training. Feistner's raise and new job title were effective on Tuesday.
The commissioners also acted on personnel changes in the Sheriff's Office and approved the hiring of Ryan Rook as full-time corrections officer. They approved a motion "to recognize and support the sheriff's decision to terminate" Nicole Knisley, deputy sheriff and voted to allow Sheriff Tim Walburg to open a position to hire a new deputy.