The Board identified two top priorities during strategic planning:
- Investing in employees
- Determining the direction for facilities
Really? The things that the Board regularly refuse to do are now their priorities?
Investing in Employees
A goal of investing in employees sure sounds good, but they are just words until something is actually done.
Staff have tried a few things. They are working on surveys, employee engagement strategies, and they have even started an employee recognition program. But, is that really “investing”?
It seems like the Board instructed staff to prioritize “investing in employees” with no definition of what that means, and no actual plan on how the Board would invest in employees.
As far as we can tell, the Board has taken no action on this supposed priority. They agreed to a modest bump in pay for the union contracts. But, that modest increase has been wiped out by inflation. Other counties have enacted wage adjustments to help solve staffing issues, and provide some relief to employees. Not Antrim. Hell no.
How about benefits? That is a major draw to municipal work. How are Antrim’s benefits?
Medical – It is okay. Not good and certainly not great. Employees are given a choice between several different programs. All are mediocre.
Retirement – Shit. Complete and utter shit. it used to be good, but the Board gutted the old pension program. We won’t bore you with the details , but future Antrim County retirees may be asking if you prefer paper or plastic.
What could the Board do?
There are a lot of things the Board could do to actually invest in employees.
- Wage adjustment
- Matching 457 contribution
- Offer an HSA program to assist with health care
- Increase defined benefit caps
- Offer additional wage steps
- Invest in employee wellness
- Create promotion opportunities
- Tuition Assistance for employee family members
- Create child care assistance program
Finally, the Commissioners could address the biggest problem that county employees have. Most employees work in dilapidated and possibly unsafe facilities.
More on facilities, next time.