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For some, increase in pay on the way

A 2 percent raise is now a done deal for county employees thanks to money saved after Halifax County Board of Supervisors directed staff to restructure the health care plan for the coming year.

Halifax County Board of Supervisors approved the 2 percent pay hike Monday evening during their regular monthly meeting held in Halifax.

Slated to receive the raises are constitutional officers and staff, library, social services, E-911 and grant funded employees in the county.

Excluded from the increase are school, tourism, Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, soil and water, county administrator and part-time employees and board members.

During the annual budget process, funding was included for a cost increase for the county health care plan.

However, the board ended up approving an option to restructure the plan and cost sharing arrangement with employees that passed along a sizable share of the insurance increase to employees who will absorb the added cost.

By making those changes, employees will be paying more for insurance coverage out of their own pockets, County Administrator Jim Halasz explained, but the share of the health care cost the county will be paying has gone down.

“The differential is about $160,000. With that money we can afford a 2 percent pay increase which will offset what the county would have otherwise paid for health care,” he added.

The supervisors voted 6-0, with ED-6 Supervisor Larry Giordano and ED-8 Supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne absent, to give these employees a 2 percent increase in pay.

“What that allows, of course, is for all our employees to make their own decisions about how to use that money in their paycheck. Some of them will use it for health care, some of them will make other changes and use those funds for other priorities, and they will manage all their priorities as well as their health care as opposed to us managing it and saying let’s just buy health care,” Halasz explained. 

The pay raise will go into effect July 1, and the budget will be updated to reflect the pay increase.