The union agreed to a hybrid pay package under the old contract that expires next month. There was an across-the-board, 57-cent pay adjustment but no performance pay for members of the union the first year. In the second and third years of the contract, the two sides agreed to a 2 percent across-the-board raise and merit pay in the 0.25 percent to 1.5 percent range.
Morrison said he believes since there was a component of merit pay under the old deal the workers hopefully felt management dolled out raises fairly.
Union President Melissa Pate didn’t want to share the vote tally for the contract, but she said union members are satisfied.
“Our members realize that all the county contracts are all moving to pay for performance. Our agency is no different. With that in mind, our workers were OK with pay for performance,” she said adding. “The union was very pleased that we were able to come to an agreement with management ahead of the expiration of the existing contract. We felt that it was within the best interest of our workers to settle the contract early.”
The commissioners have been working for a long time trying to get performance pay into union contracts, and now nearly all of the 15 unions in the county have acquiesced to some form of merit compensation. Commissioner T.C. Rogers said it all comes down to one word.
“It is a word that I have used before and is the basis for everything and that’s trust,” he said. “In the long run people just want to feel like they are being treated fairly.”