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Charleston County votes to raise pay for county employees - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston County votes to raise pay for county employees

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

Hundreds of Charleston County employees will receive a bigger paycheck starting in October. On Tuesday evening, County Council voted 7-1 to increase pay for county employees.

The Committee for Auditing Performance and Evaluation Standards, also called CAPES, came up with the plan to change how and how much to pay county employees.

This is after a consulting company assessed how the county's job duties and responsibilities were split between the county's 2,472 employees. CAPES is suggesting that about 40 percent of the county's employees deserve higher pay.

Council member Elliott Summey says the overhaul is necessary and long overdue.

"We went years and years without any pay increases, without any cost of living increases because of the economy. Our employees suffered the load right along with us. We haven't increases taxes in 16 years, so employees have gotten any pay raises, especially in times that were bad. This year we had extra money. We were able to implement a new system and plan for the future without raising taxes too. Everybody is winning."

The plan splits the employees into two categories: general and public safety.

Public safety employees include law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. Their salaries will fall under one of 45 grades.

General employees will fall under one of 50 pay ranges. The pay scale includes 95 grades. Currently, there are 72.

It also includes new incentives to reward good employees who have been with the county for seven years or more.

County spokesperson, Shawn Smetana, says the money will come be from next year's budget.

Employees will start to see a bigger paycheck by October. Pay raises for elected officials and county council members are also being considered, but separately.

That proposal includes pay raises between $13,000 and $19,000 for some elected officials and an additional $6,300 dollars a year for each member of county council.

That plan will be reviewed in August.

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