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Value of benefits key to employees' pay

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 18, 2002
Rex Hiatt, Lauderdale County administrator, said Wednesday that fringe benefits must be considered when comparing corrections officers pay to that of a part-time employee.
He put a dollar figure on the benefits because some corrections officers were offended when the board of supervisors approved an $8 an hour wage for a part-time employee who will work at the county zoo at the Q.V. Sykes Recreation Complex. The pay for full-time corrections officers starts at $7.54 an hour.
He said a full-time corrections officer making $7.54 would also receive the following benefits paid by the county: Health insurance totaling $3,698 per year; a Weems Mental Health program benefit for $24 a year; state retirement plan totaling $1,529 per year; 12 days of paid sick leave totaling $724; and five days vacation for first year employees totaling $452 per year.
For one year the benefits total $6,427. Dividing that figure by 2,080 working hours, Hiatt said it averages out to $3.08 per hour.
He added that part-time employees do not receive any of the benefits.
Hiatt said the county implemented a salary study done by Mississippi State University a few years ago.
He also said the county's Recreation Committee is considering hiring one more part-time person and he said work at the zoo may be supplemented with inmate trustys.