NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County announced today that its frontline first responders in 911 Communications, Fire Rescue and the Sheriff’s Office will receive a pay increase, in line with market demands and public safety functions, beginning Tuesday.
“Our public safety first responders serve our community every day. They are the first call, connection, and line of defense, and they put their lives and safety on the line,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We are grateful for what they do and all they give, and I am proud to be part of an organization that is committed to ensuring our employees have the best benefits, a highly competitive pay, and a culture that values, respects and appreciates their hard work every day. And the fact that we can implement this pay increase without having to raise taxes is important. In fact, we plan to lower taxes next year, while ensuring our employees receive the market increases and pay they need and deserve.”
Included in the updated pay plan is a salary increase of 12.2 percent for employees in the Sheriff’s Office and 911 Communications, and an increase in pay for Fire Rescue employees from 17.82 percent to 29.89 percent, depending on the position.
“These increases are based on an internal analysis and are directly in line with what the market currently demands, coupled with increased inflation, and the need to remain competitive in our starting pay and salary ranges,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “We are also in the midst of preparing for a pay and classification study that the board approved as part of this year’s budget, which will help inform any additional pay scale changes needed in Fiscal Year 2024. But increasing salaries for our 670 frontline first responders now is the right thing to do. Their work is hard, stressful, and critical, and we recognize all that they do to keep us safe, healthy, and secure.”
During today’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Sheriff Ed McMahon, Fire Rescue Chief Donnie Hall, and 911 Director Hope Downs all addressed the board and county management, expressing thanks on behalf of their staff for this pay increase.
In addition to this pay plan change, a market increase is being proposed for staff in other county departments as part of the recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. An increase to the county’s current minimum wage of $15.30 per hour to $16.35 per hour and an increase of 6.86% to the overall pay plan is also being recommended.
The recommended budget is scheduled to be presented at the Board of Commissioners’ meeting at 9 a.m. on May 16, with a public hearing held at 4 p.m. on June 6. View additional updates at Finance.NHCgov.com.