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County employees receive second raise in a year

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By Lou Elliott Jones

Levy County employees will have a little something extra in their paychecks shortly: a 2 percent pay increase that the County Commission approved dating back to Oct. 1, 2013. That is on top of the 3 percent pay increase approved in June.

The increase came about as a result of union negotiations between the county and the Florida Public Employees Local 630 of Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL-CIO, which represents all county employees, except the full time emergency medical service employees in the Public Safety Department, and employees in the constitutional officers's office. 

County Coordinator Fred Moody said the latest increase, part of a “Memorandum of Understanding” signed with the union on Dec. 17, 2013, is on top of a 3 percent raise granted by the commission in June 2013. Moody said the retroactive amount may be in the Jan. 16 checks.  

The 3 percent pay increase was the first increase in county workers' pay since the 2006-07 fiscal year. Department heads were also told they had to find the money for the pay increase in their budgets. This latest raise may require amendments to the budget because the increase was not in the budgets, Moody said in an email.

That raise also covered the employees that work for the county's constitutional officers ? the tax appraiser, supervisor of elections, county clerk and tax collector. But this latest raise does not extend to the constitutional officers' staffs. 

Sheriff's deputies, who are part of a separate union, were not included in the pay increase, although they received a 3 percent pay raise in May 2010. Sheriff Bobby McCallum said his office is in negotiations with the deputies' union on the pay issue. 

The EMS union workers received a pay increase in May 2013 that gave emergency medical technicians 27 cents per hour and paramedics $1.10 an hour more.