TRAVERSE CITY — A county commissioner needs board members to have entry to expanded medical insurance advantages equal to what full-time county workers obtain.
Commissioner Brad Jewett introduced the merchandise ahead for the Jan. 20 common assembly, however pulled it off the agenda as a result of he didn’t have all the data he wanted.
The expanded profit proposed would cowl a commissioner’s household, a perk equal to what’s provided to full-time county workers, stated Grand Traverse County Administrator Nate Alger.
Commissioners presently can go for a single coverage that covers simply them. A household coverage prices the county about $15,000 per 12 months, whereas a single coverage prices about $7,000. Workers and commissioners are required to pay 20 % of the premium.
Board Chairman Rob Hentschel, Co-chair Ron Clous and Jewett are on the county’s healthcare insurance coverage coverage.
The search for a rise in advantages comes on the tail of 72 % raises commissioners gave themselves in December, with commissioners Betsy Coffia and Bryce Hundley voting towards the rise. Commissioners this 12 months might be paid $12,000, with the co-chair receiving $12,500 and the chair $13,000.
Alger was additionally granted a increase of 5 % per 12 months for 3 years, along with the 1.5 % cost-of-living increase all workers acquired for this 12 months. In July, after his contracted increase kicks in, Alger might be paid $145,242.
County Clerk Bonnie Scheele was additionally given an $11,000 increase over two years, and pay scales for the human sources and knowledge know-how director positions have been adjusted to high out at $125,000, from a earlier quantity of $105,055.
Nate Lentz is president of the Grand Traverse County Deputy Sheriffs Affiliation, the native arm of the Police Officers Affiliation of Michigan.
The group, which has 54 members, has been in negotiations for a brand new contract, which expired Jan. 1.
The deputies had been provided the 1.5 % cost-of-living will increase given to different workers, however raises given to Alger and different directors had been a catalyst for prolonged negotiations, stated Lentz, who’s on the negotiating workforce.
“It’s irritating that that’s the one factor they’re electing to present to all 500 workers the county has,” Lentz stated.
Deputies are on a four-year step plan, he stated.
“So after 4 years we’re topped out,” Lentz stated. “There’s no extra raises.”
Lentz stated the county used Allegan County as a comparability for what different directors are paid.
In Allegan County deputies are paid 11 % greater than what Grand Traverse County deputies are paid.
Lentz stated it’s not that Alger doesn’t deserve a increase.
“All of us simply really feel that it’s unfair to deal with us completely different as deputies,” Lentz stated. “Should you’re going to make use of a comparability, it must be used throughout the board.”
Commissioners additionally obtain a $35 per assembly per diem, with the county finances displaying $18,550 was paid out in per diems in 2020. The quantity was effectively beneath the $35,000 that was budgeted, with Alger saying there have been fewer conferences due to the pandemic.
Jewett didn’t reply to a request for remark relating to his advice.
Hentschel stated the proposal was value looking at.
“It’s a reinstatement of a earlier profit that was loved by previous commissioners,” Hentschel stated.
If the advice is accepted by the board, it couldn’t go into impact till 2022, as insurance policies are already in place for this 12 months, stated Dean Bott, county finance supervisor.
County commissioners had household healthcare advantages prior to now, however they had been eradicated in 2008 firstly of the recession, Bott stated. Those that don’t take the coverage are given an additional $2,000 per 12 months, with the finances displaying that $10,000 was paid out in 2020.
There have been additionally two years — 2017 and 2018 — when commissioners opted to gather a wage of $1 per 12 months. The transfer was made to handle finances points, Bott stated, particularly the unfunded pension legal responsibility the county is working to lower.
In 2019 commissioners had been paid an annual wage of $7,000, with the co-chair paid $7,500 and the chair $8,000.