Some members of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office dispatch and jail staff are scheduled to get raises.
Members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors agreed with Human Resources Director Nancy Selvage that the pay scale, especially for Level I and II corrections officers, sergeants and dispatchers, is way too low.
“Job retention and job recruitment has been an ongoing challenge for the sheriff’s department,” Selvage told supervisors at the regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 5.
“For the last couple of years we have been unable to fill vacant positions and job retention is not optimal,” Selvage explained. “We currently have five vacant correctional officer positions and this seems to be the norm,” she added.
When departments are unable to fill vacant positions it puts a strain on the entire department. In the case of the jail, it becomes a safety issue for both staff and inmates, Selvage told the board.
Job retention is another problem. Once trained and with a little experience, employees are often off to other counties where the pay is better. And sometimes it’s just better pay opportunities in another Plumas County department, she said.
Selvage said that she compared the base wages in a labor market study for both corrections and dispatch. “I am offering the Board of Supervisors a recommendation to increase base wages for these classifications,” she said.
Selvage said she completed a wage survey study with 10 counties to compare similar duties and qualifications. Plumas County paid the lowest. “At this time, I believe it is imperative to present the Board of Supervisors with the wage increase options for these classifications,” Selvage said.
For a Correctional Officer I position the pay will go from $15.55 an hour to $17.45. For a Correctional Officer II the pay increases from $17.14 to $19.23 an hour. A correctional sergeant’s pay increases from $18.88 to $21.32, Selvage reported.
In dispatch, a Dispatcher I position increases from $16.02 per hour to $17.45. A II position goes from $17.24 to $18.64.
Selvage said that the mid-year budget shows there is funding for wages. A total of $11,133.56 is needed to meet these new increases for the next five months of the fiscal year.
“I agree with everything Nancy (Selvage) said,” Supervisor Lori Simpson added.
Simpson explained that Sheriff Greg Hagwood tried to implement raises a few years earlier. She added that it was time to get the job done.
Supervisor Sherrie Thrall said she “was shocked” by the low wages that especially dispatchers were making locally. She said that dispatching is a key position and people must be paid more for the vital jobs they perform.
Supervisors passed resolutions adopting the new wage scale for correctional officers, sergeants and dispatchers.