Estimated cost for the changes is about $90,000 per year and will affect 250 employees.
The proposal was put on the table by Commissioner Marshelle Thaxton and was discussed prior to the vote.
Commissioner Ricky Clark emphasized the good job that all county employees do on daily basis.
Thaxton said these individuals have had no pay increase during the past four years.
“It is time to give them one,” he said. “When this schedule is implemented, every department will be where it should. A future board can embrace or change it.”
Commissioner Jason Ward cautioned the group about losing flexibility and ability to hold the line during the budget process.
Chairman Cleve Hartley pointed out that if there is danger of going over a fiscal cliff, raises could be frozen.
“We need to change the pay scale so that people won’t leave and take experience with them,” Hartley said.
The revised pay classification plan includes:
Probation increases will be applied to the starting rate of pay for new employees.
Automatic annual step increases will be applied at the rate of 1.25 percent per step on July 1 of each year.
Employees must be employed as of Dec. 31 of the preceding year to receive an automatic step increase.
On Jan. 1, 2013, every employee would be moved ahead from his or her existing rate of pay to the next step on the revised pay scale to establish a starting point for the automatic annual step increase.
Each year, the board may approve a cost of living increase in addition to the automatic annual step increase. Such increases would also be applied on July 1.
In event of a cost of living increase, the beginning step on the pay scale would be adjusted to account for the increase.
There is no cap on the number of years an employee would be eligible to receive automatic annual step increases.
County Manager Matt Denton said all job descriptions would be revised to promote effectiveness and efficiency within each department.