Letter | Georgetown County’s first responders deserve better pay

06/18/2013 5:02 PM

06/18/2013 5:03 PM

I would like to thank County Councilman Jerry Oakley and his colleagues for not kicking the can down the road and for standing up for what was right and justified.

I am talking about the recent increase in millage to pay for salary increases for County employees. This was under the circumstances a bold act and I applaud them for their actions. Restoring the 3 percent cut in pay was a return to the 2009 pay scale without adjustments for cost of living increases.

County Council,under pressure from the citizens of the Waccamaw Neck, went a step further and in various millage raises throughout the county added an actual increase in salary to those men and women who put themselves in harm’s way. The actual amount to be paid has yet to be determined but it is a start.

However, it is somewhat disappointing to read that some County Council members even in this day and age lump janitors and lawn mower operators in the same category as sheriff’s deputies, firefighters and paramedics. They are all important, but the skills and training are quite different and salaries should be based on those parameters and wage scale surveys.

It is time for county government to develop a personnel system that is in step with modern human resource operations. One that delineates the different fields of employment and establishes pay scales that are in tune with the current marketplace for the different employment fields.

Saying that highly trained employees are in the same category as unskilled employees for pay raises is a method of the past.

I urge County Council to take the next step and modernize the county's personnel system to reflect modern methods of establishing pay scales. If this is not done, we will in the very near future be faced with the same dilemma we found ourselves in this year.

The writer lives in Pawleys Island

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