Government workers could see raises
Garfield County government’s approximately 460 employees are in line for a possible 2.3 percent pay increase based on performance, per a wage and health benefit package approved by county commissioners last week.
In addition, some employees on the lower end of the pay scale could see an additional 2 percent increase as a result of an approved adjustment in the salary range for county workers.
“Every job position has a particular grade and salary range attached to it, and we try to adjust that to make sure our employees remain in the range for our market,” explained Diane Hayes, human resources director for the county.
Most county employees are already above the minimum range, so the scale adjustment will likely affect only newer workers who are still at the entry level, she said.
The merit increase, on the other hand, is based on the most recent round of employee performance reviews and will go into effect starting in June, Hayes said.
“Each year, Garfield County reviews merit increase and salary range adjustment requests,” Hayes wrote in a memo to commissioners outlining the request. “These requests are made in the interest of maintaining the county’s commitment to ensuring employees are paid in a manner that supports its mission, vision, goals and objectives, and ensures the best use of public funds.”
Last year, the county adjusted its pay structure by 1 percent, and instituted merit raises anywhere from 1.5 percent to 2.3 percent, based on different levels of performance.
The annual wage adjustments do not apply to the county commissioners and other elected county officials, whose salaries are set by Colorado statute.
Commissioners also agreed to have the county cover a 6 percent increase in health insurance premiums for 2015-16, rather than passing that cost along to employees.
Hayes said the health insurance increase is “modest” compared to recent double-digit percentage increases, and is less than the projected 9 percent increase that was included in the 2015 county budget. Garfield County saw a 9.5 percent increase in its health insurance rates in 2014.
The health insurance premium increase will take effect in July. Employee dental insurance rates are also going up 3 percent at that time, she said.
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A continued decline in natural gas industry activity in Garfield County resulted in fewer members and fewer complaints from residents over the past year for Community Counts Colorado.