Travis County raises minimum wage to $20 an hour

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – Travis County employees at the bottom of the payroll system will soon see a substantial increase in wages, with commissioners approving a minimum wage increase to $20 an hour for fiscal year 2022- 23.

Currently, Travis County has a minimum wage of $15 per hour, which translates to a minimum net wage of $31,200. The $20 hourly minimum wage, which takes effect Oct. 1, will result in a base salary of $41,600 per year.

County leaders also approved a general increase of 5% for county employees in FY23. For all minimum wage earners, the 5% increase will apply to their current wages, and civil servants will then make up the gap necessary to raise their hourly wage to $20.

Officials also greenlighted a cost-of-living adjustment for retirees in FY23. The 3% adjustment will result in nearly $3.4 million in general fund costs, by county document. The last time the county implemented a cost of living adjustment was in 2019.

Other cost adjustments noted include increased base salaries for corrections officers, law enforcement assistants and other public safety personnel. For the Correctional Officer, the entry-level salary will increase to $50,000 in FY23, up 6.7% from the FY22 salary.

For MPs, their minimum wage will increase to $63,000, a 14.1% increase from FY22. With Senior Assistants or Senior Corrections Officers, they will also see a 5% wage increase, officials noted.

Officials said this will help Travis County become a competitive employer and attract more potential employees. Commissioners noted substantial vacancy rates in key county departments, adding that these salary readjustments could ease those burdens.

For example, two hard-to-fill positions — a level one juvenile detention officer and a road maintenance worker — currently have minimum salaries of $34,609 and $32,345, respectively. These positions are highly sought after due to the high vacancy rates in these respective fields.

With the FY23 minimum wage now approved, a level 1 juvenile detention officer and road maintenance worker would now earn $45,457 and $44,133 per year.

Overall, the costs of all compensation increases amount to nearly $48.2 million for FY23. Of that $48.2 million, nearly $13.4 million will represent the minimum wage increase of $20 and general employee increase of 5%.

Travis County will adopt its tax rate on September 20 and its budget on September 27. The fiscal year FY23 begins on October 1.

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