Pierce County, Wash., officials say they’re just trying to stave off private-sector competition for county employees by paying 12% of its workers more than $100,000 a year. That explanation isn’t sitting well with some citizens.
The local newspaper recently revealed that the number of employees earning six figures jumped 70% last year—partly because 2009 had 27 paydays instead of 26. That created backlash from taxpayers and some local officials, who point out that the median household income in the county is $70,000.
County employees also got 5.2% pay raises last year—although furlough days ate much of the bump.
A County Council spokesman said it may consider offering no pay raises for 2010.
Contact: Keri Rooney, executive director of external affairs, (253) 798-7186.