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Monday, October 13, 2014

Ind. Courts - "Lake County comes to agreement with judges over pay issue"

Carrie Napoleon reported last week in the Gary Post-Tribune:

CROWN POINT — Lake County’s civil court judges in 2015 will get four new employees, more money for juror meals and access to funds generated by court fees, but they will not yet get the employee salary schedule they want.

The Lake County Council in a budget workshop approved a compromise deal with the criminal court judges Tuesday that fulfills the majority of their requests but comes up short on the salary schedule for employees that would guarantee longevity and experience pay increases automatically as workers reach certain milestones.

Court employees will receive the 3 percent across-the-board pay increase for all civil employees approved by the council earlier in the 2015 budget process. It is the first countywide pay increase since 2006.

Council President Ted Bilski, D-Hobart, said he is in favor of the salary schedule and he thinks his fellow council members are as well, but the county does not have the resources in place to make it work.

Along with determining the financial impact of the plan, Bilski said it is necessary for the county to create a full-time human resources department and job descriptions for all county positions so the plan can be implemented throughout county government.

“I know that’s not 100 percent what you are looking for,” Bilski said.

Fellow council members agreed with Bilski.

“We are not prepared to move forward on this right now,” Councilman Eldon Strong, R-Crown Point, said.

Councilman Jerome Prince, D-Gary, attributed the dialogue that has begun on creating a countywide salary schedule to the judges.

“Because of your persistence you opened up a conversation that is important to government as we know it in Lake County,” Prince said, adding what happens in the civil courts could be used as a countywide template.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 13, 2014 12:29 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts