Dec. 18: Hennepin and Ramsey counties pass budgets

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON and KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 22, 2013 - 8:47 PM

Hennepin plans 7.5 percent annual raises for many workers, while Ramsey holds the line on property tax collections.

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jurburDec. 17, 13 7:54 PM

Opat's a loser. Always has been. This guy has got to go. 15% increase in wages over two years paid by broken and broke property owners who are trying to hold on to what they didn't sell or pawn during the recession. No other county is sticking it to their residents like Hennepin does over and over again. Pathetic.

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snarfhoggenDec. 17, 13 9:21 PM

15% raise for county employees over the next two year? The sure like to hand out our money like they were some kind of a successful profit center.

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bdthompsonDec. 17, 1310:33 PM

Those that are complaining about 15% should note that most employees will get 2.5%/year (pretty close to the cost of living). The other 5% is built into the pay range for any given position as steps. What the County is paying for is more experience. And it is based on a performance review so it is not an automatic increase. You don't want the new guy to be getting the same as the one with ten years' experience. It only makes sense to pay for productivity.

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dennisleeDec. 18, 1312:05 AM

I'm shocked. Is there anyone in private industry expecting 7.5% per year raises the next two years, even if they have been lucky enough to get any raises the last 6 - 8 years? I think most of us (at least the ones that still have jobs) would be happy to get even cost of living raises.

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wesvolkDec. 18, 13 9:23 AM

As one of the County employees and AFSCME members who helped negotiate our recent contract settlement, I take exception to the way this article characterizes the wage increases. Virtually no one will get a 7.5% increase in 2014 and very, very few will get 7.5% in 2015. First, nearly two-thirds of Hennepin County's employees are at the top of the wage scale for their job classifications - I'm one of those, having worked for over 20 years for the County. Our raise is the 2.5% increase, which means MOST Hennepin County workers will receive about 5% over two years - a far cry from the 15% intimated in the article. Our wages are put on a "Step" system for each job classification. When we're new to the County or new to a job we promoted or moved to, we earn a "Step" raise each year our job performance is "Fully Capable" or better - these ARE about 5% increases, but they are not given at the beginning of the year. These are earned at annual performance reviews, which are spread out throughout the year. If the worker has a Review around July 2014, and receives the step increase, at most that step increase will only be about 2.5% in calendar year 2014. If that review is in December 2014, that step increase may only be about 0.25% for calendar year 2014. On average, we think that this approximately 35% of our workers will get about a 5% raise in 2014 - which they've earned and haven't received for the last 3 years. In our eyes, it's not a 15% raise for a minority of our workers for 2 years, but 7.5% for a majority of our workers over 5 years, and about a 15% raise over five years for the third of our workers still earning their way to the higher pay "steps." No one in the "line staff" in Hennepin County is getting rich at the taxpayer's expense - for some of us, we will only have averaged a little over 1% from 2010-2015, and for our less-experienced workers, it'll average to about 3% from 2010-2015. With the increasing numbers of the public needing our services in Corrections, Human Services, Taxpayer Services, etc. the raises have been long fought-for, and long-derserved of your County employees.

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