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Pay raise for Travis County employees in limbo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Beth Cortez-Neavel

Travis County elected officials will not get a pay raise next year, following a recommendation by the Planning and Budget Office that the Commissioners Court unanimously approved Tuesday.

Other county employees, with few exceptions, will have to wait to find out whether they will get a pay increase until budget markup in early September, when the Commissioners adjust the preliminary budget before filing.

Since 2013, any increase in pay for elected officials not under a state-mandated salary cap was tied to any proposed increases in classified employee salaries. Last year, the court approved a 3 percent rise in salaries for both elected officials and classified rank-and-file employees.

This year’s preliminary budget does not include funding increases for county employees or for elected officials, but has a $4.3 million savings reserve that officials say could be used for employee compensation.

Human Resources Director Debbie Maynor said county employees came forward to voice concerns at a June benefit and compensation hearing. “A lot of the comments we heard were about increase in expenses, the increase in the ability to live — like buying groceries and paying utility bills. More of those comments seemed to come from the rank-and-file employees who are usually on the lower end of the pay scale,” Maynor said. “We were trying to focus the money in a way that it would be most beneficial to those who were most in need.”

Elected officials will get notice today or Thursday that their pay will not increase next year, even if other county employees receive a pay increase. Officials will have five business days after receiving the notice to file a grievance with the County’s Judge’s office. The grievance committee, consisting of nine public members and Judge Sam Biscoe serving as a nonvoting committee chair, would meet between Aug. 18 and 25.

Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Salaries of County Elected Officials:

County Attorney — $164,734
Probate Judge — $158,000
Court-at-Law Judge — $157,000
Sheriff — $135,903
District Clerk, County Clerk and Tax Assessor-Collector — $119,741
County Judge — $118,373
Justice of the Peace for Precincts 1-5 — $111,936
County Commissioner for Precincts 1-5 — $98,463
Constable for Precinct 5 — $96,091
County Treasurer — $95,248
Constable for Precincts 1-4 — $92,310
District Attorney — $35,298 (plus $140,000 from the state)
District Judge — $18,000 (plus $140,000 from the state)

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