Study Shows Majority of Jackson County Employees are Underpaid

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Marianna- Jackson County Administrator, Ted Lakey explained how the county got into the situation it was in.

"We have not done a classification study since the 90's, so I think some of our pay has gotten behind in that period of time. Some of the jobs are not probably paid where they should be."

And by 'some' Lakey admitted that number was closer to "90 percent."
The consulting firm who conducted the survey back in March offered some solutions: "they are recommending we abandon steps and just have a pay range for the positions" Lakey said.

But he also told us if the board chose to follow their advice, the changes still wouldn't come over night

"A good starting place is probably to find out how much it will cost. The commissioners are asking myself and human resources department to get a cost on it and see what it would be. Also to look at whet the cost of the benefits we provide are and balance that out. If we can't do the whole package, maybe they could be phased in over 3-5 years and develop a plan to get the employees where they probably should be."

Commissioners had been in budget hearings for the past week. Lakey said they planned to revisit the issue in greater detail next week, and even though the budget has been tight- there was an incentive to make the changes.

"It surveyed a number of counties in the region, from the small counties: Holmes, Washington, Gadsden- smaller than us- up to a little larger counties: Okaloosa, Walton and Bay. We're also looking at their benefit packages to see how we measure up. We need to be competitive and hopefully, as the economy improves were going to have to be [competitive] because other businesses will be competing for our employees."