County OKs 2-year employee contract |

County OKs 2-year employee contract

Implementation of a two-year agreement with the Douglas County Employee’s Association will increase compensation for the county’s rank and file by $426,252 over next two years.

The contract approved by commissioners last week implements the classification and compensation study by moving those employees who are below their pay range to the bottom rung.

According to Human Resources Director Wendy Lang, employees in the association will be paid $9.81 million in 2015-16, and $9.93 million in 2016-17.

The association represents around 130 county workers. It doesn’t represent Douglas County sheriff’s officers or East Fork firefighters, both of which have their own associations.

The contract replaces the one that expired on June 30.

Lang said that the contract also increases the amount of leave an employee can accrue from 240 hours to 280 hours. The contract includes a 4-percent merit pay increase minus any raise an employee got from an adjustment in their pay scale.

Employees will also receive a safety footwear allowance of $150 every year instead of every other year.

President Shawnyne Garren thanked the county for working with the association on the new contract.

“We came a long way,” she said. “This was a good collaborative process. I know we did a fair share of foot stomping.”

Commissioner Greg Lynn pointed out that the policy commitment to implement the salary survey predated the contract.

Either the county or the association may reopen the contract for 2016-17 in January to negotiate salaries or insurance. The association approved the contract on July 24.

In Nevada, public employees may join associations but may not strike. Should contract negotiations fail between the association and a government body, the contract must go to binding arbitration.