Gwinnett government workers get 8-10% raises, $15 minimum wage

Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson delivered her 2022 state of the county address on Thursday morning in Lawrenceville. SPECIAL PHOTO

Credit: SPECIAL PHOTO, GWINNETT CHAMBER

Credit: SPECIAL PHOTO, GWINNETT CHAMBER

Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson delivered her 2022 state of the county address on Thursday morning in Lawrenceville. SPECIAL PHOTO

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners last week approved raises of 8% for full-time county government employees, 10% for first responders and a minimum wage of $15 per hour for county government employees.

The audience watching the commission meeting Tuesday, which included some affected employees, applauded after the unanimous vote at Tuesday.

“You’ll be seeing it in your next paychecks, so we are all excited about that,” Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson said.

The commission six months ago gave 4% raises to full-time employees, but the tight labor market and rising inflation called for more, Human Resources Director Adrienne McAllister said.

“We continue to see trends in the labor market that make it remarkably much more difficult to recruit and retain high quality employees,” McAllister said. “To meet this challenge, we must position ourselves competitively.”

First responders in the police, fire and emergency services, corrections and emergency 911 departments, as well as the sheriff’s, district attorney’s and solicitor’s offices, will get the 10% raises.

“We take pride in Gwinnett being a preferred public sector employer,” Hendrickson said in a statement. “We also know a generous compensation and benefits package is essential to keeping this status and shows our current employees we appreciate their hard work and dedication to the Gwinnett community. At the same time, we hope these incentives will attract prospective employees to consider a career in public service.”

The raises will cost the county $31.4 million at most, spokesman Joe Sorenson said.

“It’s likely to be less due to the number of vacancies we’re carrying right now,” he said in an email.

The county earlier this month began offering four weeks of paid parental leave. Government employees are also receiving new family planning services, including help with fertility, prenatal nutrition, post-partum issues, surrogacy, adoption and returning to work.

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