Montgomery County officials, hoping to erase lingering inequities in the salaries of local government workers, especially women, plan to give raises to hundreds of employes in stressful and time-consuming jobs, County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist announced yesterday.
Gilchrist said the county may spend more than $1 million in the next year to increase the salaries of those workers in county libraries, public health and social welfare offices, among other agencies.
"The question of equity has to be addressed," Gilchrist said at a luncheon meeting with reporters.
The planned pay increases, said Gilchrist, were prompted largely by a recent consultant's study that gave the Montgomery government generally high marks for its employe salary schedules but also faulted the county for not ending some pay inequities.
Hubbard & Revo-Cohen Inc. of Reston, which studied the county employment system for more than three months, said some county workers still complain that their supervisors give more favorable ratings to those in trade and labor jobs, often at the expense of those in "traditional female work."
"This can lead to bias in the evaluation of certain job classes, particularly those that are female-dominated," the consultant said in a report released yesterday.
The Montgomery government has maintained a complex set of standards to judge the performance of its more than 6,000 workers since 1980, when it launched a "quantitative job evaluation system" modeled on a similar program for U.S. government employes. Under the evaluation system, employes are to receive ostensibly objective job performance ratings based on nine different factors, including the physical demands and complexity of their work.
The county's consultant recommended adding two new categories to the evaluation system so that employes could receive credit for stress in the work place and for dealing face-to-face with the public. Montgomery also should expand the definition of "physical demands" to benefit workers who "endure long hours of staring at video display terminals and use fine motor skills and manual dexterity to type," the consultant said.
Gilchrist asked the County Council yesterday to allocate $300,000 so the government may apply the revised evaluation standards to its 600 different job classes. Some employes may receive increased benefits later this year, and the new system should be fully in place by July 1987, the executive said.
Carren Oler, the president of the county's Commission for Women, said she was "pleased and impressed" by the speed with which the county responded to the recommendations.