1 ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ACTION AGENDA ITEM ABSTRACT Meeting Date: November 30, 2000 Action Agenda Item No. 1 SUBJECT: Employee Pay and Benefits DEPARTMENT: Personnel PUBLIC HEARING: (Y/N) No ATTACHMENT(S): INFORMATION CONTACT: Under separate cover: Elaine Holmes, Personnel Director, Pay and Benefits Report Extension 2550 TELEPHONE NUMBERS: Hillsborough 732-8181 Chapel Hill 968-4501 Durham 688-7331 Mebane 336-227-2031 PURPOSE: To consider the directions the Board of Commissioners wishes to pursue as to Orange County employee pay and benefits for fiscal year 2001-02 and 2002-03. BACKGROUND: During 1998-99, the Board of Commissioners completed a comprehensive review of the employee pay and benefits plan. After consideration and discussion, the Board reached consensus on the elements of the pay and benefits plan. The Board also decided that this plan would be in effect for two years to provide for more continuity in the plan and to reduce the need to revisit the plan each year. Fiscal year 1999-00 was the first year of the two-year plan and the current fiscal year (2000-01) is the second year. Questions For Consideration Based on the Board’s plan, the Board will be considering in the November 30 work session the directions that it wishes to pursue as to employee pay and benefits over the next two year period; that is, fiscal year 2001-01 and 2002-03. Questions for the Board’s consideration include the following: • Is the Board satisfied as to current directions? • Are there any unachieved or new objectives that the Board wishes to pursue? If so what are these? 2 Pay and Benefits Report Under separate cover, staff has provided a Pay and Benefits Report as background information to the Board’s consideration of the pay and benefits plan in the November 30 work session. As specifically requested by the Board, the report includes sections on cafeteria benefits, vacation buy back option, domestic partner benefit coverage and retirement incentives. In addition the report provides updated information on the Cost of Living Increase, In-Range Increase, Meritorious Service Awards, area local government pay plans, 401(k) plan and the Orange County employee work force. Staff Feedback As To Possible Directions In the Board’s consideration of the directions in the pay and benefits plan, staff would offer the following feedback. • Base Salaries Employee base salaries continue to be a top priority from both an employee perspective and from the perspective of the County’s need to maintain a competitive pay plan in support of employee recruitment and retention. The County continues to experience intense labor market pressure. Section C of the Pay and Benefits report on the In-Range Increase includes data as to the County’s current recruitment experience. Base salaries are most impacted by the cost of living and in-range increase elements of the pay plan and staff recommends the Board continue the present focus on these elements of the pay plan. • County-Wide Position Classification and Pay Study Given the 10 years that have elapsed since the County’s last county-wide classification and pay study and the need to maintain a competitive and equitable pay plan, the County Manager and Personnel Director recommend that the Board pursue conducting a classification and pay study of all County positions in the upcoming two year period to update the plan on a comprehensive basis. This comprehensive study would reassess internal salary relationships among all positions and re-establish the County’s position in the labor market in relation to County employers. If the Board desires, staff will return with a specific proposal, plan and estimated costs for conducting such a study. • County 401(k) Plan Contribution In terms of the County’s employee benefits plan, increasing the County’s 401(k) plan contribution from the present $15 per pay period continues to be an employee priority and increasingly has become a significant issue in the County’s recruitment efforts given the higher 401(k) plan contribution provided by area local government employers. If the Board wishes to give this further consideration, the Section G 401(k) plan portion of the Pay and Benefits Report provides several options. 3 FINANCIAL IMPACT: The Pay and Benefits Report notes financial impact related to specific items for discussion. RECOMMENDATION(S): The Manager recommends that the Board consider the employee pay and benefits plan and provide direction to staff as to the pay and benefits plan elements that it wishes to pursue for 2001-02 and 2002-01.
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