St. Joseph County employees could be getting a raise next year.
The Common Council met Wednesday evening to hammer out a 2013 budget.
Under the current spending plan, full-time employees would get a $1,000 raise. That includes elected officials. Part-time employees would get a $.25 per-hour boost to their paychecks.
Council president Rafael Morton said the group chose a flat increase for all employees because it would help bridge a gap between the highest and lowest county employees.
The increase, he said, would have a much bigger impact on the lower-paid employees, equivalent to a 4 or 5 percent raise.
“We feel like we have very hard-working employees that do a great job for the citizens of this county, and they are grossly underpaid,” Morton said.
According to Morton, the county's financial health is getting better, making this raise possible.
“I don't want to say substantially improving, but overall we have seen some improvement,” he said.
The Council plans to vote on the budget in October, Morton said.