A pay package that would give nonunion Prince George's County employes a 4.7 percent cost of living increase has been approved by County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan.
The raise, affecting 1,400 of the county's 6,000 public workers, contrasts with the 3 percent boost Hogan has steadfastly urged for the unionized county workforce, which is currently negotiating for a new contract.
Hogan aides declined to say whether the executive was retreating from the 3 percent lid, but noted that the County Council had already voted money to pay for the higher raise.
The issue of public employe pay raises has been controversial, especially within the budget constraints imposed by TRIM, the voter-approved charter amendment limiting tax revenues.
Hogan sought to hold all county and school employe raises to 3 percent, but ran into stiff opposition from unions that were negotiating new contracts. He lost one round last May when the county council voted to fund a teacher contract including the 4.7 percent raise. A statement issued by his office on the new raises said, "The growing wage disparities between the [school] board's employes and those of the county government should not be further exacerbated by granting school employes a larger pay and fringe benefit increase than those afforded county employes."
But Hogan aide Eugene T. Lauer stopped short of saying the executive backed a 4.7 percent boost for the union workers now in negotiations. There are a number of issues on the table. Whatever the final figure will be depends on the agreement the county reaches," he said.
Union negotiator Paul Manner, on the other hand, saw yesterday's raise as a victory for a coalition of county union locals that has been fighting the 3 percent figure. However, he said, 4.7 percent "is not satisfactory."
The nonunion workers affected by Friday's raise announcement include top police and fire officials, clerks, mid-level professionals, and top-to- mid-level managers, Lauer said. The Hogan package now goes back to the council, for final approval.