The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 1021, which represents Mendocino County government workers, has released this statement on the recent pay-hikes enjoyed by county management, including the county supervisors. It is re-published here as a letter-to-the-editor:
County Employees Call for Moratorium on Management Increases Pending Salary Study
SEIU 1021 calls on the Board of Supervisors to Hold Management Increases until the Full Classification and Compensation is Complete
Ukiah — SEIU Local 1021 which represents more than 800 employees who work for Mendocino County has called on the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to put a hold on any increases in management salaries until the County has completed its long delayed Classification and Compensation Study. The Board has a proposed 21% salary increase over 4 years for the County CEO on its agenda for its Tuesday, October 2 meeting. In addition, there is a proposal for 21.5% annual increase for the Assistant Agriculture Commissioner and a 9% increase for the just hired Public Defender.
At its September 25 meeting the Board of Supervisors approved an eight-month delay of the report from Koff & Associates to study how far below market County employee wages are compared to other rural California counties. The original report was supposed to be released in June but has now been delayed to June 2019. The County has experienced a serious problem with recruitment and retention as it has hemorrhaged experienced employees to higher paying neighboring counties. Mendocino County employee wage rates are on average 15% below other comparable jurisdictions.
The delay in the Classification and Compensation study has fueled anger among County employees already troubled by the Board’s controversial vote to raise their own salaries by 39% earlier this year. County staff has also watched as most department heads and managers received 20% to 30% increases over the last year while the review of their wage rates has stalled.
“Approving these large increases just a week after delaying yet again the review of County employee wages sends the absolute wrong message,” said Mendocino County social worker and SEIU 1021 Chapter President Kort Pettersen “At last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, I gave each member an abbreviated version of Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek, which promotes a more inclusive and egalitarian leadership style. I believe it is something that Mendocino County really needs to take to heart.”
SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs and schools throughout Northern California, including more than 800 Mendocino County workers. www.seiu1021.org
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