CLINTON — The Clinton County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to continue having all county employees contribute 8% to their health benefits after a ruling from an arbitrator for the county sheriff’s union to stay at an 8% contribution.
The Supervisors voted 3-0 Monday in favor of the motion. All Clinton County employees are currently contributing 8% for health insurance for the current fiscal year ending June 30, Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker confirmed.
At a February Board meeting, Board Chairman Tom Determann noted an increase in the county’s health insurance for the upcoming fiscal year. The county budgeted for county employees to contribute 11% for fiscal year 2022 starting July 1 prior to the arbitration ruling.
The county previously received a recommendation for a 10% contribution increase, Human Resources Director Dawn Aldridge said. The county is self funded and funds its own health care costs, she said. The 10% increase would raise the contribution to 11% total, she said.
If the county was at an 11% contribution, the employees would contribute about $91 for a single plan monthly and about $186 for a family plan monthly, Aldridge said.
With the 8% contribution, a single plan is about $66 monthly and a family would pay about $135 monthly, Aldridge noted.
The outcome of the process was for the sheriff’s union to stay at an 8% contribution on health benefits, Supervisor Dan Srp said. Srp was concerned about separating the amount of contribution between different employee groups in the county, he said.
“I think that there’s a substantial pay differential that compounds annually when that group gets a separate, greater wage increase than other groups,” Srp said. “And I think that’s a fair way to compensate the work that they do. But I don’t agree that there should be a separation in the benefits contribution.“
Srp supported keeping everyone at 8% and being aggressive in reviewing the county plan, he said.
Srp wants the county to get to a point where officials are discussing the total salary benefit package and what the cost of the package is to the county, he added.
“We’re trying to remain competitive for our employees,” Srp said. “We’re trying to provide a fair situation for them but also for our taxpayers. I feel very proud that we’ve done so. I certainly know that there’s people that maybe deserve additional adjustment or other consideration. We try to address those when they present. I still think that when we have applications out, we get a lot of quality applications for our positions. This is still a desirable place to be and a desirable place to work. But we have to be respectful of those tax dollars also.”
Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Jim Irwin Jr. supported looking at employee compensation as a package deal, he said. He added if the county moves down the path of separating the sheriff’s office from other county employees, it will make it difficult moving forward. Irwin is not willing to separate one office from everyone else in the county if the employees are all on the same plan and all paying into the self-insured plan, he said.