Pongratz: Recommendations On County Pay Increases

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (16)


At last Tuesday’s Los Alamos County Council meeting Ms. Sharyl Hofer, Los Alamos Fire Department’s Safeguards and Security/Labor Relations Manager and a 14-year County employee, made a sensitive, well-reasoned and courageous plea for the Council.  She was addressing the lack of pay increases for a majority of county employees “for the current fiscal year and the possibility of no increases for FY2019”. Employees covered by union agreements have already received pay increases.  Most have not.

I looked into this issue last year and found out that “we” had already saved enough via a change in our health insurance to pay for the prospective raises.  This is not a “tax and spend” issue; the funds are available. Pay increases in the short term would be just, but most current employees would still be short-changed because of the several months without a raise.  I have recommended that the County investigate awarding “retention pay” for those who did not yet get any pay raise.

Morris Pongratz
Former County Councilor