St. Joe County Prosecutor's Office employees getting raises - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Prosecutor's Office employees getting raises

St. Joe County Prosecutor's Office employees getting raises

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Some employees in the The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's office will be getting raises.  But this is only after a battle between two governing bodies.  Prosecutor Mike Dvorak said he asked for wage increases for 20 of his lowest paid employees.  The County Council originally approved it, then the County Commissioners vetoed it.  Tuesday night the Council voted 6-3 to override that veto.

Dvorak said the increased wages will create equal pay in his office.  "It's fair wages for these people that work in public safety, a support staff to prosecutors in the courtroom."

Dvorak said the wage increases are for secretaries, paralegals, and victim advocates.  He said he wants to create equal pay in his office and not lose any employees.  "If salaries aren't competitive you take your well trained people and they look for jobs in other places."

According to Dvorak, a survey conducted by an independent source recommended paying these workers more money.  "Even with these salary adjustment we're still below the average recommended in 2005-2006," said Dvorak.

St. Joseph County Council President Rafael Morton said he understands Dvorak's concerns.  That's why he supported the wage increases the first time the Council passed it and during Tuesday night's vote to override Commissioners veto.  "These are crucial individuals, crucial members of his team and we're talking public safety here," said Morton.

But Republican Candidates for the County Council are upset.  They held a press conference at the County-City Building Tuesday to share their disappointment with handing out raises.  Dennis Jordan, Candidate for County Council District B said, "There's a budget process for a reason, so everyone can have a voice at the time it is put together.  We need to have a two sided conversation and decide what's good for all the county residents and employees. "

Councilman Morton said they did talk about this during the budget process.  The raises were taken out at the last minute but the council promised to revisit them if they didn't experience a budget shortfall.  Morton said that's exactly what happened.

The raises for the prosecutor's office total $27,743 split between 20 employees.  It's a little more than one thousand dollars per year per employee.  With the bump, their salaries will be between 28 thousand and just over 42 thousand dollars a year.

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