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Putnam Commissioner Jonathan Williams Presents Plan To Update County Pay Structure

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Commissioner Jonathan Williams Presents Plan To Update County Pay Structure

Putnam County District 1 Commissioner Jonathan Williams proposing a replacement pay structure for county employees.

Williams said the idea came about after the county conducted a salary study and learned that it is behind on wages for employees. He said he believes that when looking at updating the pay scale, the entire system needs to be on the table, not just numbers and salaries.

“It does borrow the framework of the old plan, but instead of taking 20 years if you’re emergency services or 25 years if you’re not emergency services to reach the top of the pay scale,” Williams said.”It would take 10 or 15 years respectively.”

Williams said it is important to note that timeline only applies to the position, not the employee. For example, he said if someone were to get promoted and move up in their department, that timeline would start over.

Williams said that the change in the number of years it takes to top out on salary is the biggest change to the plan other than the salaries themselves. Despite the deadline approaching for budget approval, Williams said he believes this is something that should be addressed this year rather than in the future.

“The numbers that we came back with from our salary survey were all based on last year’s numbers, we already know that everyone is reacting, the highway patrol has given their guys a dramatic increase, the Cookeville Police Department has, the fire departments, other emergency departments around the state have already adjusted,” Williams said. “So even the numbers we have on the salary survey are already a year outdated by the time we get them back, so we must act this year.”

Williams said he has not yet gotten feedback from fellow budget committee members as they absorb the new proposal. He said he believes they know the commission needs to do something.

“To be honest, I can’t take full credit for this,” Williams said. “There were others who did the work and came up with the numbers, but I was the one who presented it.”

Williams said the commission knows it will be a tough budget year. He said while the income and revenues have been good, the county is still in an inflationary county.

“There are a lot of stressors being placed on the county budget,” Williams said. “And so it’s not going to be a pretty year, but we’re going to do the best that we can for the county taxpayers. At the end of the day, we have to fund our obligations.”


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