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Supervisors ok $1.7 mil. in salary increase

Supervisors ok $1.7 mil. in salary increase

For the first time since the Great Recession began, Tulare County’s non-union employees received a raise.

At its June 25 meeting, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a $1.7 million salary increase for Tulare County’s employees in unrepresented bargaining groups.

The last time similar salary adjustments were granted was December 2008. Of the $1.7 million included in the salary increase proposal, $530,000 would be spent from the General Fund.

There are 540 employees in unrepresented bargaining groups, which include the Board of Supervisors, county elected officials, confidential clerical workers, professionals, mid-management, executive management/department heads, probation management, and assistant department heads.

Supervisor Phil Cox said he was proud of the County’s efforts to be fiscally conservative which allowed them to keep many of their employees and offer them a raise at a time when most public entities are asking them for reductions.

“Five years ago I had the sad duty of announcing layoffs and cuts in 2008,” he said. “We stayed the course and now we are reaping the benefits.”

County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau said after more than four years of conservative budgeting, Tulare County is able to offer salary increases to bargaining units whose contracts are set to expire this year or who had a reopener to current agreement.

“Tulare County is in this position today because of the conservative measures the Board of Supervisors has taken during the Great Recession,” Rousseau said. “Looking forward, we will continue to take cautious measures when considering salary increases, cost-of-living-adjustments, or equity adjustments.”

The Board’s vote approved the following salary increases:

- The Board of Supervisors would receive a 3% increase, effective 60 days after adoption of the annual budget.

- County Elected Officials would receive a 3% increase, upon adoption of annual budget.

- Unrepresented employees would receive a 3% increase, effective July 14, 2013.

- Probation Officer-Supervisors would receive a 4% increase, effective July 14, 2013 and 4 percent equity adjustment on January 26, 2014.

- The positions of Chief Deputy County Counsel, Attorney-Supervisors, Attorney-Supervisor (At Will), Attorney Civil V, and Attorney-Chief Child Support would receive an additional 2% equity adjustment effective January 26, 2014.

Supervisor Steven Worthley said the 3% increases will help employees to cover the costs of paying a greater share of retirement and health benefits. Supervisor Allen Ishida said the County’s quick action to get rid of unfunded State and federal programs allowed the County to take the action and give back to its employees. Chairman Peter Vander Poel said he was proud of the new policy which brought any raise to the Supervisors before the public on an untimed item where they could have time to comment.

“I want to thank the department heads and of course our employees,” he said. “You did what it took to get the job done. Last year we restored steps and merits and now we can offer pay increases.”

The proposed increase would be just one of a few agreements reached with different bargaining groups this year.

For example, the following bargaining groups have already reached agreements on June 11 with the County:

- The Tulare County District Attorney Investigators Association (TCDAIA) employees will receive a 3% increase effective July 14, 2013.

- The Government Lawyers Association of Workers (G-LAW) employees will receive a 3% salary increase effective August 11, 2013. In addition, Attorney V’s in that group will receive an additional 2% salary increase effective January 26, 2014.

Other bargaining units whose contracts expire this year include: Tulare County Corrections Association (TCCA); United Auto Workers (UAW); District Attorney Criminal Investigators Association Tulare County (DACIATC); and Professional Association of Tulare County Physicians (PATCOP). It is anticipated that contract agreements for these bargaining units will be brought to the Board of Supervisors in July.

Bargaining units whose contracts expire next year include: Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Tulare County Professional Firefighters Association (TCPFA); Professional Law Enforcement Managers Association (PLEMA); and the Tulare County Deputy Sheriff’s

Association (TCDSA).

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