Panel agrees to reimburse government workers for pay from six furlough days in 2011
By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WOODSTOCK -- The stockings of Shenandoah County employees will be a little fuller this Christmas.
The Board of Supervisors approved measures Tuesday that will result in bonuses for county workers and school staff.
The panel agreed to reimburse county government workers the money they lost during six furlough days in fiscal 2011.
District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson brought up the idea during a supervisors meeting last month after Budget Manager Garland Miller said the undesignated fund balance contained more than $500,000 above what had been expected.
The board on Tuesday also approved a $909,442 fund balance reappropriation to the school division. Of that, $226,208 is for special budget carryover.
The remaining $683,234 is from money that is over-revenue and under-expenditure, and the School Board has said it will be used to give school employees a one-time 2-percent bonus on their salaries.
District 1 Supervisor Dick Neese voted for the special budget carryover reappropriation, but voted against both measures that would result in employee bonuses.
"I thought part of that [school fund balance] was to be paid into a special fund for use later on," he said.
Neese said he recalled the supervisors saying several years ago that such surplus moneys would be split between the School Board and a county fund.
"I do have a problem with them stating it's all going back to the employees," he said. "The private sector is still not giving pay raises. Not sure what our budget is going to be this year with funding coming from state and federal. I think it's being decreased every year."
County Administrator Doug Walker said after the meeting the bonus checks for county workers would go out Friday, while school employees will have their bonus included in their regular paycheck on Dec. 22.
Superintendent Keith Rowland sent a letter to employees letting them know about the bonus payments.
"And, our employees have been bombarding me with emails expressing their appreciation to the school board and the board of supervisors for giving them this opportunity," he said Tuesday afternoon. "I think they're most appreciative. Of course, the board of supervisors has just been a tremendous help in this case. Our people haven't received any type of cost of living increase over the course of the past three years."
It's been four years since Sheriff's Office salaries were frozen, Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said Tuesday evening.
"So, of course, the staff are appreciative for what they can get," he said. "I think it's a positive thing for the staff morale."