Part 4. Personnel.

153A-92. Compensation.

(a) Subject to the limitations set forth in subsection (b) of this section, the board of commissioners shall fix or approve the schedule of pay, expense allowances, and other compensation of all county officers and employees, whether elected or appointed, and may adopt position classification plans.

(b) In exercising the authority granted by subsection (a) of this section, the board of commissioners is subject to the following limitations:

(1) The board of commissioners may not reduce the salary, allowances, or other compensation paid to an officer elected by the people for the duties of his elective office if the reduction is to take effect during the term of office for which the incumbent officer has been elected, unless the officer agrees to the reduction or unless the Local Government Commission pursuant to Chapter 159, Article 10, orders a reduction.

(2) During the year of a general election, the board of commissioners may reduce the salary, allowances, or other compensation of an officer to be elected at the general election only in accordance with this subdivision. The board of commissioners shall by resolution give notice of intention to make the reduction no later than 14 days before the last day for filing notice of candidacy for the office. The resolution shall set forth the reduced salary, allowances, and other compensation and shall provide that the reduction is to take effect at the time the person elected to the office in the general election takes office. Once adopted, the resolution may not be altered until the person elected to the office in the general election has taken office. The filing fee for the office shall be determined by reference to the reduced salary.

(3) If the board of commissioners reduces the salaries, allowances, or other compensation of employees assigned to an officer elected by the people, and the reduction does not apply alike to all county offices and departments, the elected officer involved must approve the reduction. If the elected officer refuses to approve the reduction, he and the board of commissioners shall meet and attempt to reach agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, either the board or the officer may refer the dispute to arbitration by the senior resident superior court judge of the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the county is located. The judge shall make an award within 30 days after the day the matter is referred to him. The award may extend for no more than two fiscal years, including the fiscal year for which it is made.

(4) The board of commissioners shall fix their own salaries, allowances, and other compensation in accordance with G.S. 153A-28.

(5) The board of commissioners shall fix the salaries, allowances and other compensation of county employees subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act according to the procedures set forth in Chapter 126. The board may make these employees subject to a county position classification plan only as provided in Chapter 126.

(c) In counties with a county manager, the manager is responsible for preparing position classification and pay plans for submission to the board of commissioners and for administering the pay plan and any position classification plan in accordance with general policies and directives adopted by the board. In counties without a county manager, the board of commissioners shall appoint or designate a personnel officer, who shall then be responsible for administering the pay plan and any position classification plan in accordance with general policies and directives adopted by the board.

(d) A county may purchase life insurance or health insurance or both for the benefit of all or any class of county officers and employees as a part of their compensation. A county may provide other fringe benefits for county officers and employees. In providing health insurance to county officers and employees, a county shall not provide abortion coverage greater than that provided by the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees under Article 3B of Chapter 135 of the General Statutes. (1927, c. 91, s. 8; 1953, c. 1227, ss. 1-3; 1969, c. 358, s. 1; c. 1017; 1973, c. 822, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 122; 2013-366, s. 2(b); 2013-382, s. 9.1(c).)