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Some county staff could see 1.5 percent raise

egislature sets public hearings for 11 ‘modest’ pay hikes

— Although 11 pay raises for county employees were included in the 2012 budget, residents can weigh in before they’re approved.

The Schenectady County Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 10, introduced two proposed local laws allowing for a 1.5 percent pay raise for 11 county employees — eight appointed officials and three elected officials — to be retroactively applied dating back to 2011.

Due to the targeted positions, a local law is required to provide a salary increase, and a public hearing is required on local laws. The public hearing is set for the upcoming County Legislature meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.

Majority Leader Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, said the pay raises were included in the budget, but a local law must be presented instead of a simple resolution.

The three elected officials receiving a salary increase include the county clerk, sheriff and district attorney. These officials haven’t received a pay raise since 2008, according to county spokesman Joe McQueen, though 3 percent raises were included in the 2009 and 2010 county budgets.

McQueen said while those previous increases were budgeted, the raises were never paid out because the County Legislature never voted to increase the salaries of elected officials in 2009 or 2010, as opposed to what is being done now.

He believed the last union contract held three percent salary increases for 2009 and 2010, which is why the three elected officials were budgeted for similar increases even though they’re not union members.

After the elected officials receive the pay raises, their salaries would be $85,750 for the county clerk, $90,668 for sheriff and $125,245 for the district attorney.

Vice Chairwoman Karen Johnson, D-Schenectady, said the pay raises are reasonable.

“They have not have an increase for a considerable time and this is a very modest increase,” Johnson said. “These management people are the first people that we applied the health concessions to and we were hoping the unions would agree, too.”

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