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CCFB News» July 2022

Cook County Commissioners Approve Pay Increase

07/06/2022 @ 3:30 pm

Last fall Cook County Commissioners directed the Bureau of Human Resources to complete a compensation and market survey to determine if the current compensation provided to the Cook County elected officials is appropriate or if increases are warranted beginning in December of 2022 and December of 2024.

 

According to the study, a contributing factor to the significant variance versus market is the lack of annual increases over a 20-year period since the Cook County rates were established through the Elected Official Salary Resolution.

 

The consultant hired by the Bureau of Human Resources recommended two salary increase approaches: across-the-board or market aligned increases. An across-the-board increase would increase each position and the Finance Chair premium by 10, 20, or 30%. A market aligned increase would bring each position to the peer 25th, 50th, or 75th percentile with adjustments for the President, Commissioner, and Board of Review. By bringing each position to the peer 50th percentile it would bring each position to the peer median and then adjustments can be made for certain offices.

 

The Bureau of Human Resources engaged the services of a consultant to analyze the peer group that reflects current county population, annual county budget, number of districts or similar within the county, and similar data that illustrates the size and complexity of peer county operations to validate the compensation and market data collected and assist in determining recommendations of elected official compensation data.

 

In April, Commissioners “received and filed” the report, which is a procedural step intended to conclude the process. By “receiving and filing” the report it does not automatically grant anyone a pay raise. A separate ordinance was introduced to implement pay increases and an automatic yearly increase. For fiscal year 2023 salaries will be as follows:

 

Position

Current Salary

FY 2023 Salary

Sheriff

$160,000

$176,000

Clerk

$105,00

$115,500

Treasurer

$105,00

$115,500

Commissioner

$85,000

$93,500

Finance Committee Chair

$90,000

$99,000

President

$170,000

$187,000

Board of Review

$100,000

$110,000

Assessor

$125,000

$137,500

Circuit Court Clerk*

$105,000

$105,000

 

*Circuit Court Clerk’s increase does not occur until fiscal year 2025, aligned with the beginning of the new term.

 

According to the Fiscal Impact Note, total salary increases in fiscal year 2023 over fiscal year 2022 are $241,500. Year-over-year salary increases are $79,695, $92,586, and $88,013 in fiscal year 2024, fiscal year 2025, and fiscal year 2026 respectively.

 

Concerns regarding the automatic increases were raised by the League of Women Voters. Those concerns, as well as concerns about whether or not the salary levels were appropriate, were raised by the Civic Federation.

 

The roll call resulted in the following commissioners voting no: Frank Aguilar, Luis Arroyo Jr., Dennis Deer, and Sean Morrison and the following commissioners voting yes: Alma Anaya, Scott Britton, John Daley, Bridget Degnen, Bridget Gainer, Brandon Johnson, Bill Lowry, Donna Miller, Stanley Moore, Kevin Morrison, Peter Silvestri, and Larry Suffredin.

 

Farm Bureau’s policy on compensation of public officials is null on this topic (language provided below). Members with comments are concerns on this issue or Farm Bureau policy 96 are encouraged to contact Bona Heinsohn at  [email protected]

 

96. COMPENSATION OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS

 

We support:

  1. Legislation requiring Congress and the Illinois General Assembly to vote by a roll call vote on any legislation that would increase their pay or pension of its members.
  2. Pay and pension legislation being voted on separately and not being tied to unrelated legislation.
  3. Legislation that would deny all state employment-related benefits to any state employee who is convicted under any federal, state, or local law of theft, embezzlement, or accepting bribes in connection with the employee’s service as a state employee. We support an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code and/or other current law to the extent necessary to implement this proposed legislation.
  4. Capping the pension amount that a state legislator can receive regardless of their length of service or the position(s) they hold with the state after leaving the legislature.
  5. Enabling elected local and state officials having access to a 457 plan rather than a taxpayer-funded pension.
  6. Requiring public employees to contribute a greater amount to their own pensions.
  7. Legislators only receiving compensation for the days they are in office.

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