‘Overworked and underpaid’ Lubbock constables plead for pay raise | KLBK | KAMC
LUBBOCK, Texas — The Salary Grievance Board met with several Lubbock County elected officials to consider pay increases Wednesday afternoon, where Lubbock Constables argued their case for a pay raise.
“The current salary is grossly unfair and unfair by any means you measure it,” Constable Tony Jackson of Precinct 4 said at the special Commissioner’s Court meeting.
“We are overworked and underpaid. These are themes common to all workers around the world. but the research I conducted on personnel issues, I found that the Lubbock County constables are actually the most overworked and underpaid constables in the state of Texas,” Jackson said.
Jackson made his case for being the lowest paid elected officials in town,
“Elected officials get a 2% raise and as you can see for the county judge, it’s almost $2,500. For the commissioners, they receive an increase of $1,677, the constables, since we are the lowest paid elected officials, we receive $1,062. I don’t want to spit in the face for $1000, I’ll take it, but they’re considering giving a 5% cost of living adjustment to the rest of the employees.
Constables perform several functions ranging from administrative work, traffic checks, investigative duties, to serving documents such as eviction notices and prosecutions.
“Constables, we have no overtime, no incentive pay, no vacation, no sick pay, just a fixed salary and we are responsible for all operational and administrative tasks ourselves,” said said Jackson.
Paul Hanna is a Ward 1 Constable, telling KAMC that the Constables work as an individual office where he serves up to 90,000 people in his neighborhood.
“I’m still a law enforcement officer, I’m still required to maintain training hours, I still have to follow the same laws and rules as any regular police officer, and I’m licensed by the State of Texas in as a police officer and therefore it is very difficult for a one person office to be required to work over 80 hours a week or more and have your phone ringing almost 24/7 out of 7 to fix the issues,” Hanna said.
Hanna states that they requested additional staff to help ease the stress and demands of the positions, but were denied by the court.
“Every other elected official in Lubbock County enjoys staff luxuries, even the commissioner’s court. We are the only ones without staff,” Hanna said.
Three members voted against Hanna’s pay raise, leaving it up to the commissioner’s tribunal to decide.
“I will still continue to do the work for the citizens of my community regardless of the decision of the commissioner’s tribunal. But I believe that with the duties imposed on me by law and the administrative duties required for day-to-day operations, a starting salary as low as the one we have is not constructive for the duties of the office and the requirements that we have to meet,” Hanna said.