Council to consider pay raises for Bartholomew County employees

Bartholomew County Council will consider a plan to give employees a mid-budget pay bump as a way to address rising inflation and to retain employees who are falling behind.

Council member Mark Gorbett brought up the idea of a pay increase across the board for employees at this week’s council meeting. A quick poll of council sentiment found four of the seven members at least interested in pursuing the idea.

Last year, the council had several contentious discussions over employee pay centering around the accuracy, methods and conclusions of a pay study. That study found many employees needed a pay hike to bring them comparable to similar jobs in similar communities. Ultimately during budget approvals, the council could only agree on a 3.5 percent increase for employees.

Council member Matt Miller said this week he was concerned that the annual budgeting process is meaningless if the council continues to provide pay raises after the budget has been approved.

Newly elected Sheriff Chris Lane said he is reaching critical levels of staffing shortages in the county jail, with difficulty retaining employees, long overtime hours for those that do stay, and a hard time hiring new employees.

The council has set a work session next month to discuss employee pay, the possibility of hiring a human resources director and county IT needs.