Nobles County to complete study of pay equityWORTHINGTON — Nobles County Interim Administrator Vijay Sethi told the new board of commissioners Tuesday that the county will move forward with a pay equity study in 2013. The last time a study was completed was in the mid-1990s.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Nobles County Interim Administrator Vijay Sethi told the new board of commissioners Tuesday that the county will move forward with a pay equity study in 2013. The last time a study was completed was in the mid-1990s.
“Most counties in Minnesota do a pay equity study,” Sethi said. “By law, we have to comply with the pay equity guidelines.”
The request to complete a new study came from the management team created following the departure of former county administrator Mel Ruppert. The team, which consists of many of the individuals in department head roles, has brought forth numerous other suggested policy changes in recent months, including flexible work scheduling and recognition of long-time employees and retirements.
The pay equity study would determine if employees are paid in accordance with the difficulty of the job.
“Basically, the study looks at different aspects of a person’s job and their positions are classified accordingly,” Sethi explained. “The sum total of their points determines where, on the salary grid, those employees are placed.”
As employees leave and new people take their place, Sethi said positions are often reclassified, which makes the grid “off kilter” and inaccurate.
In conjunction with the pay equity study, Sethi said a market study will be completed to see how Nobles County positions compare to salaries of the same positions in surrounding counties.
During the 2013 budget process, $40,000 was earmarked for the study.
In other action Tuesday, the board:
* Elected Bob Demuth Jr. as board chairman and Marv Zylstra as vice chair.
* Learned county staff will begin the process of filling four new county positions as budgeted for 2013. These full-time positions include finance director, GIS coordinator, building maintenance employee and Community Services account technician. In addition, the Nobles County Veterans Service Officer’s hours have been extended from 25 hours to 32 hours per week. The new office hours for the VSO will be from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, effective Jan. 21.
* Authorized the 2013 solid waste recycling and hauling permits.
* Set the 2013 Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting schedule as the first Tuesday and the second to the last Tuesday of each month. One exception is the first meeting in December will be moved from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5 because of a conflict with the Association of Minnesota Counties conference. In addition, the annual Board of Equalization meeting was set at 6 p.m. June 18.
* Approved on a 4-1 vote (Commissioner Gene Metz opposed) the reappointment of Gary Ewert as Nobles County’s representative on the Heron Lake Watershed District Board. Mark Bartosh had also sought appointment to the board.
l Approved payment of $70,387.08 to Thompson Electric Co. for electrical upgrades at Prairie Justice Center.
* Designated the Daily Globe as the county’s official newspaper for publication of legal notices; and the county’s website as the official website for publication of transportation projects.
* Approved, upon request from the management team, automatically refilling certain vacated positions without waiting for board authorization. This prevents a delay in the process.
* Approved an on-the-job training contract with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s trade act unit for a county employee who was laid off from a previous job because of adverse effects of foreign trade. The contract outlines that the state will reimburse the county for 50 percent of the employee’s wages until Dec. 21, while the employee is trained for the position.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.More from around the web