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.