County Moves On Employee Bonuses - Leesburg Today Online—Daily News Coverage of Loudoun County, Leesburg, Ashburn: News

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County Moves On Employee Bonuses

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Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:10 pm | Updated: 11:06 am, Fri Apr 12, 2013.

Supervisors are preparing to make good on their promise from the FY13 budget deliberations to create a merit-based bonus pool for county employees.

During the Finance, Government Services and Operations Committee meeting April 9, supervisors were informed that enough money is expected to be saved from the FY13 budget to pay the bonuses as directed by the Board of Supervisors last March.

The committee is recommending that bonuses equal to 2 percent of their salary will be paid to county employees and those under the five constitutional officers—sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, treasurer, commissioner of the revenue and clerk of the circuit court—who were hired before Oct. 1, 2012. Employees who were hired between Oct. 2, 2012, and Jan. 1 will receive a 1 percent salary bonus. Anyone hired after Jan. 1 will not be eligible for a bonus. The committee also is backing 2 percent bonuses for the county attorney, the five constitutional officers and the director of Loudoun County Public Library, if the Library Board of Trustees approves it.

The bonuses would be included on the May 31 paychecks. All bonuses are subject to standard tax reductions.

“We said if there was a savings then we would do bonuses,” Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said. “This is a payout in May 2013 for performance in 2013. This is something we need to honor in my mind because the savings is there.”

The bonuses are not being given to every employee across the board, however. They are performance-based. The county’s finance staff is recommending that, to be eligible for a bonus, an employee must have earned a performance rating of “Meets Expectations” or higher in their most recent performance review.

With the overall FY13 fund balance projected to be around $26 million, which county staff acknowledges is an early projection, supervisors said they believed the idea of rewarding budget savings with bonuses was a success. It is estimated the bonuses will cost $3.8 million.

“I think it is safe to say this bonus pool idea worked well,” Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) said. “I think it is highly appropriate we allocate this bonus. We need to make sure we are compensating our staff.”

Supervisor Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) recused himself from the committee discussion because his wife is the head of the Area Agency on Aging.

Welcome to the discussion.

7 comments:

  • Catherine posted at 1:47 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    Catherine Posts: 63

    A 2% bonus for the county attorney ? The office should be downsized from the top down and bonus dollars should be applied to settlement that bad lawyering caused us, the taxpayer, see Brookfield Autumn Hill LLC and endless other "mistakes".

     
  • Working more than 40 posted at 6:41 am on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Working more than 40 Posts: 9

    No, this does not include LCPS.

     
  • Fed Up LCPS Employee posted at 7:25 pm on Fri, Apr 12, 2013.

    Fed Up LCPS Employee Posts: 3

    I think that includes LCPS Employees...as one, I'm trying to decide what to do with my post tax sum of $210.00. Decisions, decisions....I feel so incredibly fortunate and appreciated! [wink]

     
  • bavarian19 posted at 2:08 pm on Fri, Apr 12, 2013.

    bavarian19 Posts: 86

    So county employees get a bonus while teachers get no increase in pay, and a significant increase in health care costs?

    How is that equitable?

     
  • jumper361 posted at 11:09 am on Fri, Apr 12, 2013.

    jumper361 Posts: 2

    It'scrankin,

    First off county employee's have not had any pay increase or COL over the past 4 years. However they have had to pay increased health care premiums almost annually. I can tell you first hand that any preconceived notion you have about county salaries are not true of Loudoun County. The bonus is earned because certain departments made a concerted effort to reduce overall costs within their budgets. Don't know where you come from but that's how a bonus is earned in the private sector as well.

     
  • lightguy posted at 7:17 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    lightguy Posts: 69

    Crankin- you might be right, kind of. But in my mind, this isn't really a bonus that you give someone out of the blue for doing a really great job. This "bonus" is being given because the board didn't want to spend the money last year to give any kind of pay raise or cost of living adjustment. They decided it would be cheaper to give a one time bonus.

    I guess that's all well and good, but a one time bonus doesn't help the county control the accelerating exodus of employee's.

     
  • itscrankin posted at 4:27 pm on Thu, Apr 11, 2013.

    itscrankin Posts: 64

    So what exactly did each county employee have to do to merit such a "merit-based bonus"? From the article, it sounds like pretty much NOTHING.

    Earning a rating of "meets expectations" essentially means that they've done their job according to what would be expected of an average person. Does anybody really feel that someone who shows up at their job and just does the minimum acceptable amount (i.e. "meets expectations") warrants a bonus?

    This is the adult-level equivalent of patting Johnny on the head and singing his praises because he got a "C" in math. We shouldn't waste our time and money encouraging mediocrity amongst our county employees.

    Merit-based bonuses should be restricted to only those with a rating of "exceeds expectations" (or whatever the county's equivalent of that may be). Let's stop showering the county's average performers with praise and riches, and focus this well-deserved attention and compensation on the top performers instead. Only then will merit-based bonuses achieve their primary objective of encouraging better performance among the workforce.