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Study Looks at Pay Equity in Freeborn County

December 11, 2018 08:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- After an exhaustive study that has taken the better part of a year, the Freeborn County board Tuesday signed-off on a study that's going to have an immediate impact on hundreds of county employees ... and *could* play a big role in attracting and keeping employees in the future.

"We want them to know that they're valued, that we're looking around at what other people are being paid and we want that same thing for them" Candace Pesch explained.

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It had been more than 20 years since a comprehensive study was done on job descriptions and pay equity for Freeborn County employees.

“We did an analysis of all of our positions in comparison to similarly situated markets, tax size, tax base, population, service level" Freeborn county Personnel and HR Director Candace Pesch said.

And they found that ... in general ... Freeborn county pay was lagging behind.

"And the board voted to make sure that our salaries are commensurate with the market," Candace Pesch told us.

The size of the adjustments will vary: "They're rated on several different categories, point values are assigned to that and then that translates into dollars and so that's why getting the job descriptions correct is so important because that equals the pay" Personnel and HR Director Candace Pesch explained.

Freeborn County has about 325 full-time employees.

"About 75 to 80 percent of them will see an increase," Candace Pesch said.

“The biggest challenge facing Freeborn county is that the workforce is diminishing, and the qualified people are going other places for more money” county administrator Tom Jensen said.

“You know it's critical so we're comparable with the other counties in the hiring process” Freeborn county facilities manager Steven Hannegrefs said.

“Actual implementation cost is roughly 300-thousand dollars," Candace Pesch told ABC6.

"I made the commitment to the board that I would not use new money from the taxpayers to fund any part of this" county administrator Tom Jensen added.

“And so we went through every single departmental budget line by line to see where we could trim and we've been able to do it without any additional taxpayer cost," Candace Pesch said.

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