By Keith Self, County Judge
Collin County employs around 1700 people. We offer competitive salaries, out-of-this-world retirement benefits, and almost absolute job security as long as you perform your duties.
We have a merit pay system known as pay-for-performance. Since salaries are a major portion of our budget, I thought I would lay out some parameters of our salary structure as we move toward budget discussions.
The Collin County starting salary for entry-level positions is $12.54 per hour, which is 73 percent higher than the federal minimum wage. That’s our lowest starting hourly wage, not our average hourly wage.
$12.54 per hour is not only 73 percent above the federal minimum wage; it is also 4.5 percent above the average hourly wage in Texas. Did you catch that? Our lowest starting hourly wage is 4.5 percent above the average hourly wage in Texas; not the starting hourly wage in Texas, but average hourly wage in Texas, which is obviously dominated by the private sector.
Add another 14 percent of salary for retirement. The average private sector contribution to a 401k (when/if offered) is about 4 percent. The county contributes 14 percent.
And we pay about 84 percent of employee health care costs.
Like most government entities, our turnover rate is a fraction of the private sector.
Our elected officials, appointed officials, supervisors and employees provide the excellent level of service that our citizens expect in Collin County. These factors are why I get regular comments about how much folks prefer doing business in Collin County than other, unnamed counties in our vicinity.
I believe that our merit pay system could be reversed if we do not adequately and transparently articulate our total compensation plan. Trust me, the desire for automatic government pay raises is alive and well.
We take great pains to compare our salaries to “like” organizations. Where we can, we include private sector positions. Where we cannot, we compare only against public sector positions. And last year, we adjusted several positions where experience had gotten out of sync with comparable positions. We go to great lengths to make sure our work force is properly compensated.
Today, we have 39 open jobs posted. If you like what you read above and believe that one of the positions fits you, apply … http://www.co.collin.tx.us/human_resources/Pages/default.aspx
I was asked to include a report on the Lake Lavon water level. Frankly, there’s not much to report. The lake level has been right at 12 feet low since last September, and today is no different. We are just a smidgen above 12 feet low. We need rain badly before summer, even with the Lake Texoma pipeline coming online.