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Cumberland County commissioners award COLA raise

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Cumberland County's nonbargaining-unit employees are receiving a 0.75 percent cost-of-living raise, starting today.

Commissioners approved the COLA adjustment last week as part of a process to grant raises in steps that are tied to performance goals.

During the 2014 budget process, the board promised a 1.75 percent COLA raise for non-bargaining employees. At the end of 2013, a 0.75 percent raise was granted, with the remainder made conditional upon several cost-reduction measures.

The remaining 0.25 percent raise will be considered in the third quarter of 2014 upon completion of all measures, commissioners said in a news release, which include improved fee collection processes.

The latest COLA increase was contingent upon the following targets having been met by Chief Clerk Larry Thomas and department heads: completion of 2014 departmental performance goals; establishing a new compensation system tied to performance; and a reduction of 12 positions through "gain sharing, elimination through attrition, and job eliminations," the release said.

Additional targets include savings through changes to health care benefits; a higher fund balance at the end of 2013 than initially projected; and additional savings through the mission review process, "particularly in the areas of the compensation system, criminal justice, public safety, and consolidation of departments."

Cumberland County commissioners instituted a wage freeze for nonbargaining-unit employees in October 2012, due to "skyrocketing increases in health insurance, pension and other costs combined with flat revenue growth and state budget cuts," the release said.

Among other midstate counties, Lebanon County granted nonbargaining-unit employees a 3 percent raise, Chief Clerk/County Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth said. Lancaster County did not grant raises this year, a spokeswoman said. York County gave nonbargaining-unit employees 1.6 percent; Dauphin County gave 2 percent.

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