At a joint meeting last Wednesday, commissioners approved pay reclassification requests for employees in the Oneida County Social Services Department among others.
The meeting was made up of commissioners from the Labor Relations & Employee Services, Administration, Public Works, and Planning & Development committees.
Social Services raises
Social Services department head Mary Rideout made a case for pay increases in her office. The requests were made because the responsibilities of certain positions have increased.
"Social Services doesn't typically request reclassifications," Rideout explained. "These three reclassifications are really unique situations for us."
Her first request was for the account technician's position, which now performs many of the tasks of information specialist, a position the county eliminated in 2016.
"A lot of those duties went to this position, which is a lower pay grade," Rideout said. "This position really should be upgraded from a level G to a level H."
Level G pay grade is $18.51 per hour and H is $19.11. The reclassification was approved.
Rideout also asked for a bump for the clerical assistant in her department. Presently, there are four people in the clerical pool sharing responsibilities and the assistant is paid less than the other three.
"To ask them to do duties of someone at a pay grade two steps higher just doesn't seem reasonable," Rideout said. "And that lower pay grade is a very low pay grade."
All four workers handle the front end of the office and interface with the general public.
"It's a very stressful position," Rideout said to the commissioners. "And if you've been in our office on certain days, you can understand why. The phone is ringing off the hook and you've got 10 people beating at the desk."
Rideout's plan is to continue rotating the four employees who take the brunt of that stress.
"They handle it better if they haven't been there for seven and a half hours," she said.
Commissioners approved the reclassification from "clerical assistant" to "clerical support" for the fourth member of the pool. Pay in that position will jump from $15.10 per hour to $15.57.
Finally, Rideout asked for a "substantial increase" for the clerical support position in the child support office.
She told commissioners the duties required of that position are highly technical and often require drafting documents to be presented in court.
"It became very clear to me that this position is not classed where it needs to be," Rideout said. "Comparing it to the secretary one in the Corporation Counsel's office, they are very comparable job duties."
That request was also approved, bumping the clerical support position from $16.80 per hour to $17.05.
The Social Services Committee had approved the reclassifications prior to Wednesday's meeting.
All three pay upgrades will be subsidized by the federal and state governments.
Sheriff's captain, ITS director, highway forepersons
The committees also approved:
A salary raise to $82,011 for the captain's position within the sheriff's department.
"The bump is based on the person," according to Charbarneau. Captain Tyler Young has been with the department for more than 22 years and Oneida County human resources director Lisa Charbarneau said the raise was awarded for "the level of expertise that he brings to the job."
Salaries of $23,805 for two forepersons' positions in the highway department. Both positions will be filled by new hires.
A salary of $79,512 for a new county ITS director.
Fred Williston may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.