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St. Lawrence County department heads receive pay hikes

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County department heads will receive pay increases this year that are linked to the Civil Service Employees Association contract.

The department heads received an across-the-board $600 lump sum payment this month.

In August, department head salaries will increase about 2 percent, based on a new step system in the CSEA contract.

The CSEA contract has 10 steps, Director of Human Resources Christopher S. Boulio said.

“This is the first time management has been on a step schedule,” he said. “Management deferred the increase until August as a cost-saving measure.”

Like members of CSEA, department heads did not receive a salary increase in 2012.

Legislator Vernon D. “Sam” Burns was among a handful of legislators who did not support the raises for the department heads. Mr. Burns said many administrators approached the budget process as they have in years past and did not try to cut costs until compelled by legislators.

“I’m disappointed in some of our department heads,” he said. “They need to provide alternative ways of running their departments.”

Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, said the salary increases for administrators are tied to the CSEA contract to maintain a spread between department heads and their subordinates.

“That’s the way it usually works. It’s linked,” he said. “They should be making more. They have more responsibility.”

Legislator Mark H. Akins, R-Lisbon, said he would have approved an even higher percentage increase because department heads this year will have to do more with less.

“I want them performing at a higher level,” he said. “In order to make a department efficient, it’s going to be the department heads that do it. I think the department heads are terrific overall.”

Salaries effective Aug. 3 range from a low of $57,314 for each election commissioner to a high of $114,420 for County Administrator Karen M. St. Hillaire.

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