Savings on health insurance claims last year made it possible for each full-time Carroll County employee to receive a $500 raise this week.
"It's a small way to say we appreciate the fact that you're staying with us," Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said.
A committee that reviewed job descriptions and salaries recommended last fall that employees receive the raises to make their salaries more competitive with those in similar counties, said Jimmie L. Saylor, director of human resources and personnel services.
A savings of about $80,000 on health insurance claims made it possible to give the raises now, she said.
Employees received a letter from the commissioners yesterday about the raises.
The amount of the raise isn't much, but it's a way to thank employees "for the cooperation and great esprit de corps they've shown" in the recent budget crisis, Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.
County employees have not had a raise in three years. The county has about 509 employees.
The committee's study found that Carroll's pay scale was lower than those in Frederick, Charles, Washington and Harford, which are similar in size and tax base, Mrs. Saylor said. The $500 raise makes Carroll's scale more competitive, she said.
The county, which is self-insured, had fewer health insurance claims in 1992 than expected, which saved about $80,000, she said.
Employees were "good health care consumers," Mrs. Saylor said.
The savings will cover the raise through the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30. Then, the commissioners will have to find the money in other places, Mr. Lippy said.
"Fiscal crises shouldn't be balanced entirely on the backs of county workers," he said.