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Blair salary board adopts pay policy

Pay scales set hourly starting wage at $10.50

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Blair County Salary Board has followed through with adoption of a pay policy, a goal that developed in February when the board delayed action associated with employee raises in light of a salary study.

The salary board, at a special meeting Thursday, voted unanimously in favor of adopting the policy that’s been under development since February.

Commissioner Bruce Erb, who chairs the salary board, called the policy adoption a step toward pay equity for county employees.

It was Erb and former commissioners Terry Tomassetti and Ted Beam Jr. who, in June 2018, commissioned a salary study in response to ongoing complaints about low wages for employees and pay inequities.

While progress on the study lagged, the report finished last year recommended a mix of pay increases and pay freezes for county employees, exclusive of elected officials.

While action on those recommendations was anticipated in February, none was taken. Instead, Erb and other salary board members, fellow commissioners Laura Burke and Amy Webster and Controller A.C. Stickel, said they wanted to instead work on developing a pay policy, something the county didn’t have.

As adopted Thursday, the pay policy outlines responsibilities and related issues with creating, changing and abolishing employee positions. It also includes numerous definitions associated with employee work.

The newly adopted policy is also associated with a pair of multi-step pay scales, as approved June 3 by the salary board, for use in evaluating employee wages and salaries. As adopted, those pay scales set the hourly starting wage at $10.50. Salaried employees will start at $35,569 annually.

It is anticipated that the salary board, now that it has adopted a pay policy, will return its attention to addressing pay change recommendations for non-union employees. Pay change recommendations for unionized employees are to be addressed during their contract negotiations.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay

Stephens is at 814-946-7456.

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