By Alan Collins
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There's encouraging news for Jefferson County employees. They can now be eligible to get a merit pay raise.
"I think commissioners do understand you if don't give these kinds of perks, you are not going to be able to retain quality employees. There are certainly employees who have left because of the cutbacks." said Kathy Burleson, a Jefferson Co. employee.
The county commission voted to restore merit pay raises. This means employees will be eligible when their annual reviews now come they could receive a pay hike. This is not an automatic pay raise.
The commission's president, Bettye Fine Collins, says the county can't afford across the board cost of living raises. Commissioners say the merit pay raises could cost the county more than a $1 million.
Last year, the county froze all merit pay raises because of the financial crisis and the loss of the occupational tax.