“Reinvesting in our employees is, to me, a very important consideration,” Jones said during the 3 p.m. Board Budget/Public Policy workshop on April 26, 2011, at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
Human Resources Director Chris Peek gave a Total Compensation presentation that included cost options for a merit increase, a match to the 401k/457 retirement plans and help with healthcare costs. Peek said the information is for the County Manager's consideration as he puts together his Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins July 1, 2011 and ends June 30, 2012.
Jones said he plans to recommend the following:
Merit Pay – an average merit increase of 3 percent which will increase payroll by 2 percent, which is $4.2 million
401k/457 Match – adding back the suspended 5 percent match at a projected cost of $5.1 million
Health Insurance – Employees would pay 25 percent (a $1 million increase) and the County would pay 75 percent (a $3 million increase)
If the merit increase Jones plans to include in his Recommended Budget is included in the Board’s Adopted Budget in June, it will be the first merit raise for County employees in two years.
“For the past two years our employees have gone without any increase in compensation,” Jones said to the Board. He added that employees have absorbed additional medical costs and have had to do more in their jobs. Jones said as he walks the halls and goes about business at the various County buildings employees approach him and talk about their situations. The County, he said, is back at 1997 staffing levels.
According to Peek, in Mecklenburg County government over the past two years:
• 530 jobs eliminated, including 280 layoffs
• County payroll cut by 14 percent ($44.5 million)
• No merit increases (15 percent of employees have never received a merit increase)
• Employees paid more for insurance
• 401k/457 match eliminated
• Post employment health benefits eliminated for new hires
Other topics Peek presented included market rates and sick and vacation policies. Visit the County’s website for more information about the budget. The Board is scheduled to adopt a budget on June 7, 2011.
FY2011 Program Review
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the Board heard a presentation about FY2011 Program Review. Leslie Johnson, planning and evaluation director, shared the results of the performance assessment.
The review is like a report card for programs and services and gives County management needed information to decide whether to fund and how much to fund. Program Review includes assessment in three areas:
• Relevance – To what degree is and should the County be in this business?
• Performance – Do the results justify the investment?
• Efficiency – Are resources being managed in the most efficient way?
Categories for the most recent review include Court Services Coordination (10 services) and Economic/Financial Assistance (seven services). Examples of services reviewed for Court Services Coordination include: Drug Court; Court System Planning; Pretrial Release Service and Court Day Care.
For the Economic/Financial Assistance category, the examples of reviewed services include: Carolinas Healthcare System – Community Clinics; Legal Services of Southern Piedmont – Disability Rights; MedAssist of Mecklenburg and Public Assistance.
Visit the County’s website for more background about Planning and Evaluation and the FY2011 Program Review.