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Leggett proposes massive pay raise for county workers after four year hiatus

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Published on: Thursday, February 21, 2013

By Brian Compere

ROCKVILLE - County employees have a chance to receive a pay increase of about 13 percent total in fiscal years 2014 and 2015, after County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization tentatively agreed on a new two-year contract.

The move immediately drew the ire of at least one county councilman. Phil Andrews, who is running for County Executive next year claims the proposed budget plan is irresponsible.

“At a time when the county executive has asked agency and department heads to prepare for another austere year, his lack of any explanation of how he would pay for these sizable pay increases is striking,” Andrews said. “County Executive Leggett is repeating the mistakes of the recent past by again agreeing to a labor contract that will, if approved by the County Council, hamstring the county’s fiscal future.”

Other Leggett opponents said the move could be politically motivated if Leggett intends to defend his office and seek reelection next year.

The pay increase would be the first for county employees in four years and would be divided into two years of an about six percent increase each year. This could cost more than $40 million over three years,  Andrews said.

 Leggett conceded further adjustments to the county budget will likely have to be made to accommodate the pay increase.

“The budget has to be balanced and we have to make some adjustments since it’s a little bit off what we have budgeted for,” Leggett said. “So it may mean we may have to tighten up, but it’s not 13 percent, it is 6 percent. It is a typical increase of COLI [cost of living increase.]”

The contract will not go into effect until it is approved by the county council.

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