New Hanover County first responders to receive pay increase

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County first responders will receive pay increases ranging between 12.2 and 29.89 percent.

Employees in the Sheriff’s Office and 911 Communications will see the 12.2 percent increase, while Fire Rescue employees will see between a 17.82 and 29.89 increase, in line with market demands and public safety functions, the county announced on Tuesday.

“Our public safety first responders serve our community every day. They are the first call, connection, and line of defense, and they put their lives and safety on the line,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “And the fact that we can implement this pay increase without having to raise taxes is important. In fact, we plan to lower taxes next year, while ensuring our employees receive the market increases and pay they need and deserve.”

“These increases are based on an internal analysis and are directly in line with what the market currently demands, coupled with increased inflation, and the need to remain competitive in our starting pay and salary ranges,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “We are also in the midst of preparing for a pay and classification study that the board approved as part of this year’s budget, which will help inform any additional pay scale changes needed in Fiscal Year 2024.”

During Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Sheriff Ed McMahon, Fire Rescue Chief Donnie Hall, and 911 Director Hope Downs all addressed the board and county management, expressing thanks on behalf of their staff for this pay increase.

The increase affects 670 frontline first responders.

In addition to this pay plan change, a market increase is being proposed for staff in other county departments as part of the recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. An increase to the county’s current minimum wage of $15.30 per hour to $16.35 per hour and an increase of 6.86% to the overall pay plan is also being recommended.

The recommended budget is scheduled to be presented at the Board of Commissioners’ meeting at 9 a.m. on May 16, with a public hearing held at 4 p.m. on June 6.

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