Lancaster County commissioners consider study of employee wages

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LANCASTER, Pa. -- Lancaster County commissioners are concerned with the lack of competitiveness in county employee wages.

County jobs aren't being filled and people are leavingĀ  their posts for jobs elsewhere.

Commissioners are considering hiring a consultant to conduct a study to look at wages for county government employees.

Commissioner Craig Lehman said, "The idea is to take a look at how the county is competing in the local job market and to make adjustments where appropriate to make sure the county is maintaining its competitiveness."

One of the problems the county is running into is employee retention.

"Some folks are leaving for positions doing basically the same work because they can earn more money elsewhere," he said.

Another issue is the county is posting the same position multiple times.

"We are not receiving enough qualified candidates or any in some cases for those positions and it's occurred across a range of areas within county government," Lehman said.

He said he's behind addressing the county's competitiveness problem, but he's not sure hiring a consultant is the way to go. The study comes with a hefty price tag.

"I would much prefer us to handle it in-house through our human resources department even if we had to develop additional capacity there because last year the preliminary estimate that was floated was $150,000," he said.

He said a salary study in-house is long overdue.

"I think the last time the county did a salary study was about 20 years ago. From my perspective the county should be addressing its competitiveness on an ongoing basis," Lehman said.

Proposals regarding how to solve the issue are due in September. Human resources will review them and make a recommendation to the board of commissioners.

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