Still no action has been taken on the question of a Memorandum of Understanding with the three units of Teamsters Local 14 in Lincoln County (clerical, road workers and dispatchers) regarding changes to the existing pay scale.

Lincoln County Commission Chair Kevin Phillips noted, “It is very complicated to explain because it involves money.”

He described the apparent problems in the differing charts used by District Attorney Daniel Hooge to make his recommendations to the commission on the issue and how it all creates a deeper problem of how to move the local union members to a new pay chart since there really is not a “cross the aisle,” as he put it, comparison.

“There is no such thing as up or down a half-a-step on the charts,” he said. “But that is what the new recommendations will require. It’s either down a full step or up a full step.”

To complicate matters further, Phillips said, “The bargaining unit members don’t want to go down a full step, which is understandable, but going up a full step would be four percent, and there isn’t four percent to do this. The money revenue from the state tax department this year is going to be very flat. The predictions we have received already show that property taxes are going to be flatlined, and that the consolidated tax (from alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, etc.) is also going to be very low this year, making everything, in essence, flatlined.”

He stated going up a full step in the pay scale requires a four percent increase, “and we have to ask where does the four percent come from on such a miniscule revenue stream?”

Phillips concluded, “Since the final revenue figure is not available yet, and the commissioners are in the final process of budget meeting preparations, we have not made a decision on the agenda item because of the expected fiscal impact.”