LUBBOCK, Texas – The Salary Grievance Committee met with several Lubbock County elected officials to consider salary increases Wednesday afternoon where Lubbock constables plead their case for an increase in pay.
“The current salary is grossly unfair and unjust any way you measure it,” said Constable Tony Jackson of Precinct 4 at the Commissioner’s Court Special Meeting.
“We’re overworked and underpaid. Those are common themes among all workers everywhere. but research I conducted in relation to personnel matters, I found out the Lubbock County constables are actually the most overworked and underpaid constables in the state of Texas,” said Jackson
Jackson defended his argument of being the lowest paid elected officials in the city,
“The elected officials are getting a 2% raise and as you can see for the county judge that’s almost almost $2,500. For the commissioners, they’re getting a $1,677 raise, the constables since we’re the lowest paid elected officials, we’re getting $1,062. I don’t want to spit in the face of 1000 bucks, I’ll take it but they’re looking at giving a 5% cost of living adjustment to the rest of the employees.”
Constables fulfill several duties from administrative work, traffic stops, investigative duties, to serving paperwork such as eviction notices and lawsuits.
“Constables, we get no no overtime, no incentive pay, no vacation, no sick pay, just straight salary and we’re responsible for all operational and administrative duties ourselves,” said Jackson.
Paul Hanna is a Constable for Precinct 1, telling KAMC that the constables work as a one-man office where he serves up to 90,000 individuals within his precinct.
“I am still a law enforcement officer, I still am required to maintain educational hours, I still have to follow the same laws and rules as any regular police officer and I’m licensed through the state of Texas as a police officer and so it’s very hard for a one-man office to be required to work over 80 hours a week or more and having your phone ring nearly 24/7 dealing with issues,” said Hanna.
Hanna states that they have requested for additional personnel to help alleviate the stress and requirements of the positions but have been denied by the court.
“Every other elected official in Lubbock County enjoys the luxury of staff, even the commissioner’s court. We’re the only ones that do not have staff,” said Hanna.
Three members have voted against Hanna’s salary increase, leaving it up to the commissioner’s court to decide.
“I still will continue to do the job for the citizens of my community regardless of the decision that the commissioner’s court make. But I do believe that with the functions that are imposed on me through statutory law, and the administrative functions that are required for a day to day operations, that a starting salary as low as the one we have is not constructive to the functions of the office and the requirements that we have to perform,” said Hanna.