County Executive Hornberger Announces Signing and Retention Bonuses and Salary Adjustments
According to Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger, the cost of living has increased at a rate that has outpaced pay adjustments in Cecil County. Coupled with an ongoing salary disparity, it has become increasingly difficult for the County to hire and retain talented employees across all levels of government.
To combat these losses, overcome the historic salary disparity, and attract qualified applicants, County Executive Hornberger authorized the implementation of Phase 3 of the 2017 salary study. In addition, the County will offer a six percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for non-union employees as well as the following targeted signing and retention adjustments for particularly hard-hit employment groups:
- $15,000 signing bonus for entry-level Detention Center Officers, a $10,000 bonus for lateral transfers, and a $5,000 retention bonus
- A bonus step raise for Prosecutors in the State Attorney’s Office
- $5,000 signing bonus for Sheriff Deputies
- A bonus two-step raise for Dispatchers, who are currently the second-lowest paid in the State of Maryland
“Given the labor shortages, historic pay disparity, and pressure from neighboring jurisdictions, these bonuses and modest compensation adjustments are the only way to retain and attract qualified employees to serve the citizens of Cecil County,” said County Executive Danielle Hornberger. “I would also like to emphasize that these salary adjustments are being absorbed through a combination of Federal money and internal savings.”
The County will use Federal CARES Act funds and funds approved but not spent in the prior fiscal year to pay for these salary adjustments. The total cost for these adjustments will be approximately $1 million for fiscal 2022.
According to a County press release:
As previously agreed, Unionized Sheriff Deputies already received an extra bonus step raise in September of this year; a retroactive 3% Cola raise; a FY-22 anniversary step raise; and a recent $1,000 state grant funded bonus, which put first year compensation packages over $50,000. In addition, the County Executive authorized a salary increase for lateral hires from other jurisdictions effective October 1, 2021. IAFF Union members (Paramedics and EMTs) are not included in this salary adjustment as they recently received a 3.2% Cola raise and are currently in union contract negotiations.
“I commend Ms. Hornberger for her leadership on this tough issue and for being transparent with both the public and the County Council,” said Council President Bob Meffley, “As President of the Council, I am pleased that we have worked with the County Executive to support the recently approved budget and tax reduction for residents and now are addressing the pay needs of our valued county workers”.
The County’s Department of Human Resources will be reaching out to employees concerning expected salary adjustments and the timing of that increase, if any, as some employees have already received their salary adjustment.