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About 750 county workers granted 2 percent salary increases

Clark County Commissioners decided to give a 2 percent salary increase to about 750 county employees Tuesday.

The 6-0 vote gives a 2 percent salary increase to non-unionized, non-management employees who shouldered a 2 percent pay cut in 2011 when the county trimmed its expenses.

The commission’s decision also ends longevity pay for new future employees in that group. Employees already working for the county — or who have received job offers — will still be eligible for longevity pay, which adds 2 percent to their base salaries after eight years of service.

The 2 percent salary increase will cost the county about $1 million.

The savings from eliminating longevity pay is estimated at $28.3 million during a 30-year period, according to the county’s estimate.

Because those employees had pay cuts two years ago, county officials are calling it a restoration of their salary instead of a raise.

It’s also another sign that the economy is improving in Southern Nevada.

“Things are starting to uptick,” said Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

The 2 percent pay increase won’t completely restore salaries to their 2011 levels. The increase yields less than the cut taken from the salary. For example, a 2 percent cut from a $50,000 salary would result in a salary of $49,000. A 2 percent raise on a $49,000 salary, meanwhile, would boost the salary to $49,980 — still a bit short of the original $50,000.

“Two percent down is more than 2 percent up,” explained commission Chairman Steve Sisolak.”

The average salary of the non-union employees is $59,585. They do a variety of jobs in human resources, finance and liaisons for commissioners.

Similar pay hikes have already unfolded in the county and more could be ahead. About 320 upper management county employees received average pay increases of 2 percent this year, following a 2 percent pay cut in 2011.

Service Employees International Union-affiliated workers also experienced across-the-board pay cuts of 2 percent in 2011. The county and the union are in negotiations and County Manager Don Burnette has said he’s open to wage increases. The last year they had a 1 percent cost-of-living increase was 2009. Merit increases were frozen in 2012.

Commissioner Tom Collins was absent during that part of the meeting.

Contact reporter Ben Botkin at bbotkin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Follow him on Twitter @BenBotkin1.

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