St. Francois became a County in late 1821. At that time employees received a wage of about $10 per week. There were no deductions as income taxes would not come for another 92 years. There was no health insurance or other items that would reduce their pay. In short, the Treasurer simply handed you an envelope with your $10/week (cash) enclosed on payday and that was it!
Over the years the onset of income taxes, added health insurance benefits, increased retirement deductions, social security deductions and so many other adjustments greatly complicated the calculations of the final paycheck amount. However, our system of paying on payday for all wages earned until that same day continued. All calculations and check printing were done in that one day!
Also, it became the norm over those two centuries that we would prepay through any holidays or weekends that may fall around the 15th or 30th of each month. This assumed no changes in the planned schedules of our many people and also meant the County would pay everyone on December 23 for the rest of the month. There would be no more paychecks until January 15th. This was a very long time without a payday during the time of the year with the heaviest spending.
In this term of Presiding Commissioner this out-of-date system was finally changed. We needed a more regular payday system and also needed some time in which to calculate the accurate pay amount and print the checks. With this new system we would no longer “guess” that the employees would fulfill Their time schedule. The work period was completed before the calculations were made.
We now have a one week “lag” time built into our system and payday occurs on every other Friday. While this change sounds simple, it was a while before our employees became adjusted to it and alter their personal habits to conform to the change. New computer software was also installed at the same time.
One other change-the payroll is now deposited directly into the employee’s personal bank account eliminating the need for checks. This is another efficiency move that was made.
We now have 26 pay periods during the year rather than the old system of 24. While each payday is a little smaller than in the old system, the end-of-the-year totals are exactly equal. This new system is better for all concerned. We doubt that anyone would now want to go back to the old system.
In those years past, St. Francois County only had a few employees. Now our number is nearing 200. One can only imagine the difficulties that were experienced in the past several years of getting our people paid properly and on time. That problem is now solved!
IT WAS ABOUT TIME WE DID THAT!