Pay & Benefits

The Loudon County Commission is again wrestling with the question of pay and benefits for county employees. Last month, commissioners were unable to come to consensus on the question. County mayor, Estelle Herron, had proposed a pay equalization plan that would have provided raises, some substantial, for most employees. The plan also included a change in the employee's share of their health insurance costs. Currently, employees pay around 8%-10% of the insurance costs with the county picking up the balance. The new plan would ultimately take the employee's share to 30%.  Several county employees and some commissioners objected to the change in the insurance split so the whole package was scraped. 

At Monday's commission workshop, budget committee members gave their new recommendation to the full commission. The new proposal calls for a 1.6% raise across the board for all employees and the insurance split to go to 85% county, 15% for employee or 88% county and 12% employee.   Commissioners are set to vote on the new recommendation at the next commission meeting.

Loudon County officials are faced with the same issue being faced by local governments across the country. Just how much should the private sector have to pay to support the public sector. There are no easy answers. But with the cost of health insurance continuing to spiral upward with no end in sight, local governments are being forced to look for answers.