Sample wage scales report surfaces for Wednesday’s vote on Allegany County’s substantial pay raises

BREAKING – EXCLUSIVE: A new plan to determine salaries for Allegany County, NY, department heads and non-bargaining unit employees has appeared on a county Board of Legislators Personnel Committee agenda for tomorrow, setting the stage for afternoon full-Board approval of a wage scale for next year which will provide significant double-digit increases for some positions.

The Classification, Compensation & Evaluation Plan, provided only in a consultant’s draft form, follows a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by Allegany Hope Community News last week for a copy of the document, along with other information, which apparently had been discussed behind closed doors by county lawmakers in seeming violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law.

The New York statute allows discussion in executive sessions only when it pertains to individual employee performances.

Under the new plan, positions appear to be pay-rated on a two-tier level, with three available grades for hiring and another nine for increments, the latter referred to as annual proficiency ratings.

A random sampling indicates that the difference between the base and the top level is approximately 42.5 percent in any one year.

“Salary ranges have been developed in a consistent manner that are competitive with the market place and the Grade of positions based on what the County requires an employee to do and what the County establishes as the minimum qualifications (i.e. knowledge, ability and skill) or comparable value that is required to carry out the job duties in an effective manner,” according to DI Jacobs Consulting.

The survey data was used, it reports, “based on a selection of comparable entities that were selected based on both operational and demographic criteria and was used as a ‘guide’ to establish a competitive salary range for positions within each grade level.”

No information was provided, however, as to what counties or other comparable entities, or their locations, were used in determining the scales.

The consultant also says that “it is understood that a salary range(s) should be adjusted by the County as necessary to maintain competitiveness with the marketplace.”

No information has been provided by the county in regard to any adjustments which have been made to the plan as it pertains to next year’s salaries, which are showing increases at more than $25,000 and above 25 percent at the highest end of the scales.

Two pages of graphical excerpts from the report which show the classification levels of what were deemed similar positions, along with the hiring bases and increments proposed, appear both above and below this story.

The county’s Personnel Committee is scheduled to meet at 2PM Wednesday, followed by a special Board of Legislators meeting at 4PM to adopt both wage increases for 19 county officials which are subject to a local law, and a resolution for salary hikes for dozens more.

The local law was subject to a public hearing, held last week, for which the new information wasn’t made available, together with a permissive referendum, if initiated legally by petition of county voters.

The county still has not replied to our FOIL request for the amount which has or will be paid to the consultant, a copy of the contract, and when the wage report was received, by whom, and the recipients it subsequently was provided to.

A copy of the full consultant’s report also hasn’t been made available yet online. Our two exclusive stories last Monday and Tuesday in regard to the pay rates covered by the proposed local law and resolution and their amounts are available on our website at
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