The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve a new system to classify its 3,600 employees and a new pay plan that will be implemented in two phases and will cost the county a total of $19.2 million during fiscal year 2020 and 2021, which starts July 1.
The first phase will increase pay for 1,832 employees, starting on Jan. 11, County Executive Christopher Martino told the board on Tuesday.
The second phase will increase employee’s pay based on years in a position for 1,592 employees, Martino said, adding 1,016 employees will not receive a change in pay.
In April 2017, the board directed Martino to assess the general employees position classification system to make sure there is internal pay equity and regional competitiveness.
The county hired Gallagher Benefit Services Inc. to analyze the county’s pay structure. The consultants asked employees to describe their job duties and spoke with employees and directors before giving recommendations.
Supervisor Victor Angry, D-Neabsco, added to the vote a review in a year after the county has implemented the plan.
The first phase will be paid for from savings the county has gathered due to vacant positions.
During the supervisors’ discussion, Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, said he’s not opposed to the plan in theory, but he worries that the county doesn’t know how implementing this plan will affect average tax bills in the future.
“I don’t see any fiscal analysis,” he said.
Chairman Corey Stewart said the county board needs to bite the bullet and pass the plan to be able correct the problem of losing employees to other jobs.
Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, R-Potomac, said the board has to make a commitment to county employees. She said if the next board has to make cuts to its budget to include the employee pay plan, they’ll have to find other items to cut. “Employees come first,” Caddigan said.
GBS compared employee pay to about 93 samples of benchmark position in public and private sectors, according to a county memo to the board of county supervisors.
The county has an employee turnover rate of 11%. The rate jumps to 19% because employees take on new duties of vacant positions.
The new pay structure will be used for recruiting and hiring activities, according to the county staff.