Archived Opinion

Jackson salary hikes just plain wrong

To the Editor:

In response to Jim McCarthy’s Aug. 3 letter, “County pay raises gone afoul,” I want to thank him for his diligence into this matter and support him and the Jackson County Citizen Action Group in their request for an investigation to determine if intentional misconduct was carried out by county personnel in implementing raises.

As a former county employee, I was present when the Mercer’s report was implemented. As each of us had spoken to Mercer representatives and had filled out questionnaires, many employees were curious about the results of the report. However, we were not given copies of the Mercer report. 

When county salaries were listed in local newspapers, county employees were shocked by the huge raises that were given at the middle and top of the pay scale. Most employees at the bottom of the pay scale received raises near and even less than they would have received if the previous step raises and cost-of-living raises had been maintained.

I want to believe that our elected commissioners knew nothing about the way the Mercer report was implemented. If it is their belief that the report was used legitimately, then they need to address this matter. 

However, if commissioners suspect the report was twisted to benefit upper management, they need to do something about it. Either way, do something.

Commissioners advocated that the Mercer raises would make county positions more competitive, especially starting salaries. However, the Mercer report stated that mid-point and maximum salaries were already well above the surrounding average and that only minimum salaries needed adjustment.

Those at the bottom of the pay scale work long hours, performing the work that upper management wouldn’t consider doing. They are good people, and making around $20,000 a year, they are living from paycheck to paycheck like most Americans. These employees have no human resources department and a human resources manual that is a joke. Taking advantage of them is wrong — on so many levels.

Deidre Parris,


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