Cumberland County launching program to share cost savings with employees

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Oct 31, 2013 1:25 PM

(Carlisle) -- Employees for Cumberland County could take home more money under a pilot program that's starting next year.

The "gain sharing" program aims to encourage higher productivity at all county departments.

If a county department loses an employee but the others pick up the slack, the group would split 50 percent of the savings among themselves.

Cumberland County Clerk Lawrence Thomas says the county ran a similar program up until a couple years ago, but this puts everything in writing.

Thomas acknowledges they'll be watching to make sure all work gets done, not just work that could yield a bonus.

"That's always a concern, and we have built into the system requirements that all required tasks are performed adequately in order to be eligible for the incentive programs."

Thomas adds it's about making a renewed committment to employees, and not just asking them do more.

"We want to develop our staff and improve their skill base, and we also want to retain good employees. So in many cases, part of the way you keep good employees is you give them additional responsibility but you also reward them."

Thomas says he'll be visiting each of the county's departments to try to help them find potential cost savings, but recognizes not every department will be a good fit for the program.

Thomas says he expects to see results in the first year of the program, and he hopes the changes will lead to a smaller county government without layoffs.

No matter their department, union members and those in civil service jobs are not eligible for the pilot.

Published in Cumberland County, News

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