Brunswick County approves salary increases and adopts new pay policy to support a strong workforce and recruitment efforts
BOLIVIA, N.C. – The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners approved recommendations this past Monday that will increase salaries and update the County’s pay plan structure for all current and future employees.
Using new pay plans established for general and public safety roles, employees will receive either a new salary using the same pay range placement they had on the previous plan, or they will receive a 7% cost of living adjustment to their original salary—whichever is greater.
There are no proposed tax or rate increases necessary to support these recommendations.
“At the end of the day, this is about making sure our county has the best team of people possible,” Chairman Randy Thompson said. “The state of the job market these past two years has made it difficult to fill positions across all sectors—but it’s been especially tough for local governments. We feel confident these recommendations will make us competitive regionally and further support retention efforts among current staff.”
The estimated cost to implement these changes in the current fiscal year (which ends June 30) is $1.85 million. The estimated annual implementation cost for Fiscal Year 2023 is $9.78 million. Of the FY23 figure, about $4.4 million will benefit public safety roles and another $1 million will support utilities-related jobs.
“Our team is committed to providing Brunswick County residents with robust and efficient services” County Manager Steve Stone said. “The salary and pay plan recommendations will further strengthen our ability to be a competitive employer in our region and state while recognizing the education and service our current and future employees provide to our county.”
Since 2021, Brunswick County has worked with consultants through a partnership with the Cape Fear Council of Governments and Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) to conduct a classification and total compensation study to better ensure the County is offering competitive compensation to continue to attract and retain quality talent across all departments.
The consultants looked at similar roles at North Carolina local governments, utilities, and private sector organizations that were either similar in terms of size and delivery of services, geographic location, or direct competitors for talent. They also considered organizations in the region that have recently announced salary increase initiatives.
“We also worked closely with the County to collect relevant internal feedback and data for comparison with outside organizations,” said David Hill, project manager with the PTRC. “We appreciate the time and effort county staff put into this endeavor to ensure we provided thorough, strong recommendations to the Board.”
Non-salary benefits such as paid holidays, vacation time, insurance plans and non-traditional work schedules were also considered when comparing the County with other organizations. The County was generally found in line with others across these areas. The recommendations also factored in the County’s existing internal equity value for certain positions.
The County traditionally evaluated its pay plan annually in relation to the consumer price index and regularly reviewed selected positions for comparison with similar jobs in the market. The Board of Commissioners has also approved performance-based merit and pay scale/market adjustments for the past eight fiscal years since FY15.
Brunswick County’s previous two classification and total compensation studies took place in 2003 and 2012. The County will continue to monitor recruitment and retention statistics as well as watch for other factors internal and external to the organization to assess future steps for similar studies.
More information about the presentation of the study is available on the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners April 18 agenda item at brunswickcountync.gov/agendas.
Residents or employees with questions about the study and the approved recommendations are encouraged to contact Brunswick County Human Resources at 910.253.2000 or email@example.com.
For media inquiries, contact the Communications Director at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org