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Posted July 13, 2012 | comments 3 Comments

Shenandoah County changes job titles, pay

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

Changes in how Shenandoah County classifies some jobs means a sharp pay cut for one position and raises for others.

The county sent letters last month -- after the Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal 2013 budget -- to each affected employee explaining any changes to their individual job classification and salary if applicable. Information provided by County Administrator Douglas Walker by email this week showed the changes created or impacted 11 positions. All county employees received letters which explained the change in compensation and benefits related to the state-mandated increase in payment into the Virginia Retirement System and a 1.5 percent raise in the cost-of-living allowance approved by the board.

The five new positions and salaries are: director of community development at $65,117; planner at $37,100; a captain and a lieutenant in fire and emergency medical services filled from the current ranks; and a director of solid waste at $65,453.

Walker noted in the email that a letter sent to one of the affected employees -- made public by a county resident -- contained an error in the position's step. The county corrected the error and notified the employee, who Walker did not identify. But the reclassification from "laborer" to "compactor site supervisor" still resulted in a change in pay grade. The county reclassified the laborer position, which received a salary of $25,434 at the 2008 levels, to that of compactor site supervisor. Under the 2012 pay scale, the supervisor will receive a salary of $21,223. The change represents a cut of $4,211 per year, or a reduction in salary of 16.5 percent. Were the laborer position to remain unchanged at its current classification, the salary would increase to $27,088.

The county changed its pay scale effective July 1 this year for all classified employees. The new scale represents the first time the county implemented a cost of living change since fiscal 2008. Changes to the scale came as a result of a classification and salary study performed by Springsted, a consulting firm. Springsted reviewed job descriptions and made sure they are graded correctly in a manner consistent with the county's classification system, Walker explained Friday.

Classification changes which affect grade, step or both, were implemented with the 2013 budget, Walker said in the email.

"In all cases the classifications are driven by the consistent application of our system and its sole focus on the position, not the person," Walker states in the email.

The county created the community development director position, held now by Brandon Davis, which combines elements of planning and zoning and economic development, Walker explained. Davis's former position of director of planning and zoning has been eliminated. The county has added a planner position to the department.

Walker explained Friday the director of solid waste position remained vacant for some time and the landfill operations manager had taken on those duties. Once the county hires a director of solid waste, the classification for landfill operations manager will shift, resulting in a decrease in pay from the 2008 level of $61,173 to $56,351 for 2012.

As Walker explained, the landfill operations manager "has done a really good job of stepping in and doing all that he can."

"When you're dealing with a landfill environment it is extremely, heavily regulated by [Department of Environmental Quality]," Walker said

Changes in Position Classifications, including grades and steps as approved in the FY13 Budget:

Position, Grade, Step, Status, Salary

  • Director of Planning and Zoning, Grade 27, Step B, Eliminated 6/30/12 , $58,993
  • Director of Community Development, Grade 27, Step F, New/Effective 7/1/12, $65,117
  • Planner, Grade 18, Step A, New/Effective 9/1/12, $37,100
  • Ec. Dev. Program Manager (Part Time), Hourly/unclassified, Eliminated 10/1/12, not available
  • Fire and EMS Lieutenant , Grade 19, New/Effective 8/1/12, $38,995, To be filled from within ranks
  • Fire and EMS Captain, Grade 20, New/Effective 8/1/12, $40,902, To be filled from within ranks
  • Landfill Operations Manager, Grade 21 Step L, Effective 11/1/12, $61,173-$56,351, Reclassified from Grade 26, Step H pending hire of Director of Solid Waste
  • Director of Solid Waste, Grade 29 Step A, New/Effective 11/1/12, $65,453
  • Compactor Site Supervisor, Grade 2 Step J, Effective 7/1/12, $25,434-$21,223, Reclassified from Laborer; Grade 7, Step J
  • CSA Coordinator (Part Time), Grade 21 Step A, Effective 7/1/12, $27,684-$42,947, Reclassified from Grade 12
  • Plans Examiner/Acting Building Official, Grade 18 Step J, Effective 7/1/12, $39,952-$46,332, Temporary Assignment; Reclassified from Grade 18, Step D

3 Comments | Leave a comment

    As Walker explained, the landfill operations manager "has done a really good job of stepping in and doing all that he can." So the landfill operations manager, who has been doing the job of director of solid waste will be rewarded for a job well done by a $4822 pay cut? Why not hire this person for the job? Obviously it has been done and done well by Mr. Walker's own admission. The administration at Central High School was thanked for their hard work (see number of honor grads, attendance, and SOL scores) by being re-assigned to other schools which disrupted the admin teams at five schools. Our county's leaders are pros at showing how they value their employees. How about some respect and appreciation?

    For many, many years now the fiscal policy of the federal government has been controlled inflation. At the local level and at private corporations the result has been a constant demand for employee pay increases not tied to merit. The fallout is always resentment.

    In the past few years the scandal of Social Security has been the game that there is no inflation, in spite of the "facts on the ground". In the meantime, Congress insures their toadies "will get theirs".

    As we now approach inevitable hyper-inflation on a fast track to fiscal disaster, all of this is going to come crashing down. As we used to say with regard to computer hard drives, "It isn't a case of 'if', but 'when' ". It WILL be sooner than later.

    The Supervisors will give some a slight pay decrease and then jump them way up next year. The Solid Waste Director job is a joke. All that the landfill needs is a Manager. Now that we have a Director, he will need someone to assist him. The landfill looks in shambles and ever piece of new equipment is trashed by the staff there. New equipment that should last 10 years is lasting about 5 years. Great job there for sure. Spending money faster than ever at the landfill with no management skills at the upper levels. The position was given to the present manager due to politics and friends.

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