VALPARAISO | While there was much ado about the lack of pay raises this year for Porter County employees, there is a long-time tradition on the table of passing along annual bonus pay based on the number of years of service.
The first of two rounds of longevity pay, totaling $171,000, is set to be taken up Tuesday by the Porter County Council.
The total amounts for the year are $225 for those with at least three years of service, $375 at five years, $750 at 10 years, $1,125 at 15 years, $1,500 at 20 years, $1,875 at 25 years and $2,250 at 30 years, according to the council office.
The second half of the bonus pay is traditionally taken up in December, according to the council.
Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, who had served as a County Council member, said the longevity pay program was in place when she became involved in county government 10 years ago.
The effort is funded from proceeds the county receives from casinos via the state, she said.
County Council President Bob Poparad, D-at-large, said he has been told the amount of available casino funding is shrinking, which means the council is going to have to explore other sources for the longevity pay. He wants to see the program remain in place.
"They are going to get their longevity," Poparad said.
The casino funding also used by the county to fund its undercover drug enforcement unit, he said.
A proposal for a $500-across-the-board pay raise for county employees died last year along with a failed alternative budget. That proposal also sought much larger bumps in pay for some individuals.
The Porter County Commissioners agreed last week to pay $24,450 to have a human resource audit done to review various employee issues. The group voiced interest in also bringing someone on part-time to handle ongoing employee needs.