News and Tribune

September 28, 2013

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sept. 28-29, 2013

Floyd County employees plead for raises

Once again, the employees of Floyd County must sit back and watch another year go by without a raise.

For the past 14 years, the employees of Floyd County have not gotten so much as a cost-of-living increase in wages or salaries, all while watching as offices are remodeled and jobs created. What will it take for the Floyd County Council to recognize the employees who have been passed over time and time again? What can we do to stand up and be counted?

This is the question that the employees and servants of Floyd County ask daily.

For years, county employees have been waiting for a raise, and for years we have been told that there is no money for raises due to various reasons. We understand that sometimes budgets don’t allow for a raise, but 14 years? It’s a hard pill to swallow when we look around and see new faces appear in the building and we learn that a job was not only created, but that the salary for the created job is much higher than the one we live with.

About 40 new jobs — to be more precise — have been created during our financial woes the past 14 years, jobs with higher salaries than some who have worked here 23-plus years. All the while, we are told there is a hiring freeze.

Sometimes, the raises have been hard to spot. Some people get small amounts here and there so nothing that would raise any flags, except to someone who hasn’t gotten a penny in many years. It makes the employees who have sat idly by and watched this happen feel as though they are not valued for the good jobs they have done and continue to do.

When some council members were asked about why some got raises and others didn’t, the answer was mostly because of their work-load increase. Hasn’t everyone’s work load increased?

Our county continues to grow. There are more businesses, more assessments more deeds to file and the list goes on. Every year, every employee gets an increase to their work load, but only a select few receive the benefit of more money for that.

In addition to the creation of jobs during the county’s financial hardship, many offices are using very old furniture and equipment that has been handed down to them from other offices, and some that have come from the “old” courthouse even. Some offices have been moved to the basement to accommodate renovations and remodels for other offices, to which those offices have also received new and updated office furniture and equipment.

The offices that have been moved to the basement are inconvenient for the taxpayer to find and visit, and most of the time smells like jailhouse waste on a given day. Employees of those sit in shock as they see other offices get remodeled, sometimes more than once in the last 14 years and receive new office equipment and furniture, as well as new employees.

Anyone can look back over the last 14 years and see that cost-of-living has increased substantially. Even the cost of getting to work each day has increased just in the cost of fuel, not to mention the increase in the cost of our benefits.

And yes, we are grateful for our benefits, but that should not be a reason to withhold at least a cost-of-living raise.

I would like to ask the county council where is your concern for the employees who serve Floyd County? How can you continue to deny us anything year after year? Would any of you stand for this treatment of yourself or anyone in your family?

Fourteen years. Fourteen years without anything. That is a long time to continue to hear that there is no money. That is a long time to sit by and watch money be spent frivolously in other areas while we continue to live in poverty.

Many employees have probably considered leaving, but they don’t want to lose the time they’ve devoted to the county and the time they’ve earned. As employees of Floyd County, we have given 100 percent to our jobs and to the taxpayers. We deserve a cost-of-living raise now. We have put in our time and have been patient. Now is the time to act.

— County employees: Cheryl A. Mills, Colleen Lenz, Brie Fleming, Tina Borden, Shannon Begley, Aletha Goodman, Victoria Montgomery, Melissa Rosenbarger, Cathy Simons, Rebecca Lang, Janice McCadden, Janet Eurton, Russell Byrd, Judith Grant, Paula Dearing, Brandy Bergmann