TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Travis County employees on the lower end of the payroll system will soon see a substantial pay bump, with commissioners approving a minimum wage hike to $20 an hour for fiscal year 2022-23.
Currently, Travis County has a minimum wage of $15 an hour, translating to a minimum net salary of $31,200. The $20 hourly minimum wage, set to go into effect Oct. 1, will translate to a base salary of $41,600 annually.
County leaders also approved a 5% across-the-board increase for county employees in FY23. For any minimum wage earners, the 5% increase will apply to their current salaries, and officials will then close the gap needed to bring their hourly wage up to $20.
Officials also greenlit a cost of living adjustment for retirees in FY23. The 3% adjustment will translate to nearly $3.4 million in general fund costs, per county documents. The last time the county implemented a cost of living adjustment was in 2019.
Other cost adjustments noted included increasing the entry level salaries for corrections officers, law enforcement deputies and other public safety personnel. For corrections officer, the entry level salary will increase to $50,000 in FY23, up 6.7% over the FY22 salary.
For deputies, their minimum salary will rise to $63,000, a 14.1% increase over FY22. With senior deputies or senior corrections officers, they will also see a 5% salary increase, officials noted.
Officials have said this will help Travis County become a competitive employer and attract more prospective employees. Commissioners noted substantial vacancy rates in core county departments, adding these salary readjustments could ease those burdens.
For example, two difficult-to-fill positions — a level one juvenile detention officer and a road maintenance worker — have current minimum salaries of $34,609 and $32,345, respectively. These are highly sought after positions due to high vacancy rates in these respective areas.
With the now-approved FY23 minimum wage, a level one juvenile detention officer and a road maintenance worker would now earn $45,457 and $44,133 annually.
Overall, the costs of all compensation increases amounts to nearly $48.2 million for FY23. Of that $48.2 million, nearly $13.4 million will account for the $20 minimum wage increase and 5% across-the-board employee raise.
Travis County will adopt its tax rate Sept. 20, and its budget on Sept. 27. The FY23 budget year begins Oct. 1.