Posted by Lehigh Valley Ramblings.

NorCo Executive John Brown’s proposed 2018 spending plan calls for a two percent across-the-board wage hike for career service personnel. But during budget hearings, Council President John Cusick hinted that he might seek a step increase instead. That’s exactly what he did at last night’s final budget hearing. He proposed a step increase (about 4.5%) for career service personnel who have four years or more seniority as of of January 1.He noted that many of these workers have remained at step one since they were first hired. The step increase will apply to judicial workers and human services workers. The remaining career service employees will see no raise.
There will be a two per cent increase for part-time professionals like assistant District Attorneys, assistant Public Defenders and the 17 criminal defense lawyers who represent criminal defendants when there is a conflict of interest with the Public Defender.

Cusick’s proposal would apply only to nonunion workers, which is about 25% of the county workforce. Union employees have their salaries set as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

“What I see happening here is this: we have people who have worked here for a long time, and then we hire somebody new, and they’re at the same pay grade as someone who’s been here a significant amount if time. The failure to award steps anywhere along the way has created that inequity.”

Remaining career service employees, i.e.those with less than four years seniority or who are already at the top of the pay scale, will see no raise. People at the top will get longevity pay.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Peg Ferraro, who said there should be “a little bit of separation” between newer and more experienced workers.

This proposed change to the budget was approved unanimously ,with the final vote scheduled for tonight.