Courtesy of Sandoval County.

BERNALILLO — Some Sandoval County employees who don’t belong to a union will soon see their pay adjusted in efforts to keep salaries competitive.

Thursday night, the Sandoval County Commission unanimously approved a resolution that established county salary ranges at 100 percent of salaries available in the employment market.

The county has not conducted a formal salary survey since the Classification and Compensation Study was adopted in 2012, said Chairman Dave Heil, District 4.

“When the past commission did not conduct periodic county-wide salary surveys or follow the 2012 salary plan, it caused the salary ranges for many critical positions to become uncompetitive with the employment market,” Heil said. “In some cases, this has caused the loss of employees to other public and private organizations. In other cases, it made it difficult to hire other employees for other critical positions because our salary rates were not competitive.”

To address this issue, the commission hired Public Sector Personnel Consultants Inc. in 2019 to conduct a salary survey and market analysis, Heil said.

Employees were requested to submit a job description and their salaries. Based on each employee’s job class, their salaries’ current ranges were compared to the market, so the county could submit a proposed range of salaries.

“What we plan to achieve by the implementation of this salary survey and compensation study is to adjust compensation of those employees who are being paid below the competitive salary ranges. For those employees whose current rate is more than the maximum of the salary range for the position, they will not see an increase until such time the market moves above the amount and the job classification is reassigned to a new salary range, which includes their current rate,” Heil said.

The few employees above the maximum salary rate are encouraged to seek promotions and to take advantage of the county’s tuition assistance plan, Heil said.

Director of Human Resources Patricia Miller requested a motion to align salary ranges with the county’s salary plan.

According to the Sandoval County website, funds for adjusting these salaries stem from the general fund.

Additional costs from the total market adjustments for affected employees are about $488,000.

Commissioner Jay Block, District 2, said that the resolution is good but not enough for all employees. Some employees’ purposed ranges fall below the market nearest range.

“It’s a concern and it needs to be fixed,” he said.

Block said he acknowledges that money for these employees won’t just appear, but he would like the county to be aware of this issue.

The next commission meeting will be held Feb. 6.