COVID-19 causing some Lowcountry government employees to lose pay raises

Updated: Jul. 30, 2020 at 7:02 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The COVID-19 pandemic is causing some Lowcountry government employees to lose pay raises.

Officials with the Town of Mount Pleasant and City of North Charleston say merit pay increases for employees had to be eliminated from the budget because of lost revenue from the pandemic.

Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Tom O’Rourke says the town has made sacrifices in other areas to prevent lay-offs or furloughs of employees.

”We’ve done everything we can financially to make sure not one person had any salary reduced or not one person was laid off,” O’Rourke said.

”What that means is their state retirement won’t be interrupted, their social security won’t be interrupted, and we’re going to do every single thing we can possible,” O’Rourke said. ”But it’s not easy to make sure we don’t have to go into the layoffs or terminate any employees.”

A spokesman for the City of North Charleston also says employees will not get a pay raise during this fiscal year.

Spokesman Ryan Johnson says it’s estimated the city will have a budget shortfall between $12 million and $18 million due to the pandemic.

We checked with other governments in the Tri-County area. A spokesman for Charleston County says employee merit raises are being cut in half.

A Berkeley County spokeswoman says no merit raises are in the budget. However all employees will get an extra paycheck this year.

All Dorchester County employees are getting a four percent raise in this year’s budget.

A spokesman for the City of Charleston says since their budget runs on a calendar year, it will not be known what cuts will be required.

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