County to analyze wages

Warren County is undertaking a wage analysis for non-union employees.

The commissioners approved an agreement Friday with Hummelstown-based N.J. Hess Associates.

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said the firm was recommended by the County Commissioners Association of Pa.

“We asked for several bids from reputable companies,” he continued. “Hess was the only one that responded.”

He said their work will be “to do a wage analysis of all the non-union employees of the county. We have just concluded negotiations with two of our unions.”

Kafferlin said one of the “guiding principles”of those negotiations was “trying to get people to the mid-point average of six class counties. Some were high. Some were low.”

While the contracts will “bring everybody toward equilibrium,” Kafferlin said that information hand wasn’t sufficient to make a decision on non-union wages.

He said this would be “particularly directors for the most part,” which can be a challenge to compare from county-to-county because, for example, there are only a couple of other six class counties with emergency management agency (EMA) directors.

Kafferlin said that the firm would start by analyzing 26 job positions, at a cost of $2,500, to “do an analysis of what people should be making” based on years of experience and the amount of the county budget they are managing.

Step two, he explained, would be for the firm to “write a policy or procedure” which will allow the county to keep up with the wage balance issue moving forward.

Total cost comes to $3,750, Kafferlin said, and the commissioners approved the measure unanimously.