Marion County plans salary study to determine possible pay raises

MARION, SC (WBTW) – Marion County Council is moving forward with a pay study to see how the county compares with surrounding counties.

Marion County employees and first responders may see a pay raise depending on the salary and pay study results from eight different cities and five counties. County leaders say they want to be more competitive with neighboring counties when it comes to staffing their various departments.

Following Tuesday’s council meeting, Marion County Sherriff Brian Wallace voiced his approval on the county wanting to invest in the future of its people.

“It’s going to save money in the long run,” predicts Sheriff Wallace. “We’ll have the retention from the deputies who want to stay here, want to live and work here. They want to raise their families here. It’s going to help all county employees.”

Wallace says the county has a hard time keeping deputies and detention officers.

“Basically, because they can go right across the county line to a neighboring law enforcement agency and make several thousand dollars more than what we’re making,” admits Sheriff Wallace.

Marion County Deputies start off making about $4,000 less than Florence County deputies and $6,000 less than Georgetown County deputies.

Marion County Salary Range: (Per Tim Harper Marion County Administrator)

  •                 Sheriff’s Deputy         $26,723-37,412
  •                 Correctional Officer  $20,561-28,785
  •                  EMT-Basic                 $20,800-32,236

Florence County Salary Range: (Per Karen Johnson Human Resources Interim Director)

  •                 Sheriff’s Deputies      $30,946
  •                 EMTs                             $30,254 -$36,480
  •                 Correctional officers  $27,904

Georgetown County Salary Range: (Per Walt Ackerman Georgetown County Director of Administration)

  •                 Sheriff’s Deputies      $33,626-$35,328
  •                 Correctional officers  $28,996- $32,006
  •                 EMT Basic                   $30,464 -$35,328

Dillon County Salary Range: (Per Rodney Berry Dillon County Administrator)

  •                 Sheriff’s Deputies       $25,787
  •                 Correctional officers   $19,920
  •                 EMT Basic                    $30,719

Marion County Council Chair Buddy Collins says the study will also make sure county employees don’t work more than they should.

“We [trying] to make sure that we are paying adequately or [if] we need to step up and change classifications,” explains Collins. “We can’t have people doing work that they are not classified for. There might be another step that can be put in.”

Collins says if the study recommends a salary increase, the council will consider the changes for county employees.

“We need that for retention,” urges Sheriff Wallace. “We need that for morale, for the officers, because these folks, deputies, detention officers, they put their lives on the line every day.”

Marion County employees will begin the three phase survey process Monday.