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New proposal would give all County employees a stipend to offset surging costs

by WayneTimes.com
April 9, 2022

Everything is getting more expensive. A fill-up at the gas station, health care, furniture, vehicles, house prices, rentals, building materials and food have seen a steady increase since January.

Blame the pandemic recovery, the war in Ukraine, or complicated supply lines leading to limited supplies.
Overall, consumer prices have risen close to 8%, with politicians promising the overall increases are slowing, but families are under a squeeze.

Yes, wages have increased, but not as fast as inflation numbers.

Hardest hit are union and county set salaries that may have been put in place well before the current conditions.

In an effort to thwart the current increase in national gas prices and goods, Wayne County is considering a stipend for all non-elected county employees to receive an approximate $1800 stipend for the remainder of 2022.

The proposal has moved through Board of Supervisor’s Committee meetings last week and will be presented to the Finance Committee on Tuesday (4/12). If approved there, it will be presented to the full County Board meeting on Tuesday, April 19.

County Administrator Rick House said the stipend is mainly for the lower paid county employees earning in the $16 range across all county departments, but must cover all employees under regulations and current contracts the County must adhere to. The stipend is designed to entice and keep county workers. “This is a necessity, not a nicety,” he added.

The county cost for the stipend is estimated to be approximately $1.9 million dollars for the year and will be covered by increased sales tax revenues and county surplus. “It will not affect the current tax rates for 2022,” emphasized House.

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