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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

Three county employees reclassified, receive pay hikes


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BROOKSVILLE - Three county government employees will receive salary increases ranging from $1,680 to $5,490 after the county administrator approved a reclassification of duties in their respective jobs.

Shaun Kusnierczak, currently the transportation grants coordinator in the planning department, will become program specialist and see her salary increased from $33,176 annually to $34,860.

Nancy Branas, grants compliance specialist for the purchasing and contracts department, will keep that title and see a salary boost from $39,624 to $41,605.

The third employee's name is being withheld because of a family member who is a firefighter and whose identity is protected. The employee is a risk management coordinator who will see a pay hike from $34,861 to $40,352.

The pay hikes occurred after Administrative Services Director Cheryl Marsden in June fired off a memo asking all supervisors to reclassify their employees' job description and bring them up to the appropriate salary rate.

John Sholtes, business agent for Teamsters Local 79, said in a letter the union would file a blanket grievance and possibly an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employees Relations Commission if the county didn't stop the reclassification effort.

Sholtes said reclassifying employees without posting the newly created positions is a violation of the contract.

Sholtes could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In all three cases, the employee's supervisor included a brief description justifying the reclassification. Two of the employees took on increased responsibilities, which accounted for the hike. A third employee, the grants compliance specialist, was never updated when the position was changed and moved to purchasing and contracts, according to a request from Assistant County Administrator for General Services Russ Wetherington.

Wetherington said in June the county was not "picking and choosing" who it wants to give raises to and denied the union's inference that it is playing favorites.

Wetherington said many employees took on new job responsibilities when former County Administrator David Hamilton down-sized the workforce and some employees took on more duties. A reclassification effort was needed and overdue, he said in June.

County commissioners have stressed it will be difficult to reinstate annual merit raises for all employees due to the budget.

The board is looking at a $9.5 million shortfall.

(352) 544-5290

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