BY CLARA VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post —
Over 150 Accomack employees will get raises next year in the wake of a study that compared wages outside the county.
The Accomack Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday, Nov. 15, to dedicate $1.3 million toward salary increases after the county commissioned a study on how its employees’ wages compare to salaries at similar organizations.
The county had already set aside the funds in its budget this year.
“I think we have good employees here,” said Supervisor Reneta Major.
“We fuss about people not staying here … but you need to pay people,” she said.
The Classification and Compensation Study found Accomack staff salaries were almost 16% below the median salaries in similar positions and organizations.
After a 7% pay raise for all county employees this summer — which took place after the study began — salaries are now less than 9% below market.
“The results of the county’s classification and compensation study confirmed what I already knew based on our employee exit interviews,” said Accomack County Administrator Mike Mason.
“Staff compensation was not keeping up with the external market.”
“As an organization focused on providing services to the public, it is vital that we recruit and retain a qualified workforce,” he said, adding Accomack will “concentrate on lifting compensation levels across all county departments in a responsible manner that is both fair to our team members and to county taxpayers.”
The $1.3 million for staff salaries will significantly narrow the wage gap and achieve almost three-quarters of pay raises the study recommends.
The raises will go to 166 of Accomack’s employees who have the widest wage gap compared to similar positions in other organizations, according to the study.
Accomack has around 250 full-time employees, and about 50 part-time staff, Mason said.
After the raises go into effect Jan. 1, the average salary for county employees will increase by almost $5,000, from $52,967 to $57,786, Mason said.
The median salary for Accomack County employees will rise from $49,916 to $53,121, he said.
“The board set aside over $1 million in this budget to implement these results,” Mason said of the study.
“You’re to be commended for that,” he told supervisors.
He plans to work to find funds for the remaining 27% in raises the study recommends for the budget next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2024.
It was the first time in over 20 years the county conducted a classification and compensation study, Mason said.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/d4brbmwd to read the Accomack County Classification and Compensation Study.