Over the past week, emotions have run high after the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors decided to vote themselves a $32,000 pay raise.
Under the ordinance, each supervisor’s salary will equate to 70 percent of a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge’s pay which is set by the State Legislator. They used a salary study to include the Bay Area counties: The counties of Alameda, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.
The move to take a $32,000 raise to increase their salary from $97,500 to $129,200 came after the Board of Supervisors had told employees of the County they had no funds and instead county employees agreed to 4% increases in 2014 and another 3% in 2015.
For some perspective on the burden of cost, the raise to the Board of Supervisors was a total of $160,000 onto the county, that equates to a single position such as another County Probation Officer or even a Battalion Chief.
While it’s difficult to justify anyone giving themselves a 33% single bump in pay—this was the first pay increase in nearly 9 years. Averaged out over the 9-years (33/9), this pay increase accounts to just 3.66% each year if they took an annual increase.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors knew there was going to be resistance to the raise and knew they needed to highlight that they were the second lowest paid county supervisors just above Napa County. They also highlighted when it came to Contra Costa County, compared to Department Heads, which they are classified as, they are the lowest paid.
For some perspective, I encourage anyone to go to the Contra Costa Times 2013 Salary Survey for County Employees. Spend some time on it because its a real eye opener.
With regards to the current $97k Base Pay, the Board of Supervisors had nearly 800 County employees making a higher base salary. http://www.mercurynews.com/salaries/bay-area/2013. Under the new ordinance of $129k, the Board of Supervisors still have 275 county employees making a higher base salary.
When looking at the 2013 total Cost of Employee (Overtime, vacation, sick leave, medical benefits, pension contributions, etc) the Board of Supervisors fall much farther down the rankings:
- Supervisor John Gioia – $189,693 (estimated 1,100 workers ahead of him)
- Supervisor Federal Glover – $180,663 (estimated 1,400 workers head of him)
- Supervisor Karen Mitchoff – $173,612 (estimated 1,700 workers ahead of her)
- Supervisor Candace Andersen – $167,828 (estimated 1,750 workers ahead of her)
- Supervisor Mary Piepho – $166,209 (estimated 1,750 workers ahead of her)
While on the surface, a 33% wage increase appears shocking, its important to for people to understand that none of the Supervisors ranked in the top 1,100 employees in 2013.
For some perspective, here is a look at what “middle management”, workers that tend to be in leadership positions within a particular department, earned in 2013 (note, we have removed the employees name and did not include OT).
While we certainly do not want to single out any position, but why is the Board of Supervisors $97,500 salary less than the LAFCO Executive Officer who makes $127k? A County Pharmacist making $133k? A CONFIRE Battalion Chief making $144k? A Sheriff Captain making $133k? First 5 Executive Director making $127k? A Sheriffs Lieutenant making $110k? A county librarian making $109k?
Here is a look at some of the positions (does not include Overtime or benefits):
|Position Title||Base Salary|
|Asst County Counsel-Exempt County Counsel||$161,760|
|Chief Asst County Admin||$156,145|
|Asst Fire Chief-Exempt||$152,591|
|County Probation Officer-Ex||$149,611|
|Asst Dir Of Health Svcs||$148,445|
|Attorney Advance -Chld Sppt Svc||$147,914|
|Deputy Public Defender Iv||$146,203|
|Deputy District Attorney||$146,091|
|Battalion Chief (56-hr) CONFIRE||$144,942|
|Deputy Director of Public Works||$136,757|
|Deputy Director of conservation Dev.||$136,757|
|Sheriffs Chief of Forensic Services||$136,548|
|Battalion Chief (40-hr) CONFIRE||$135,577|
|Deputy Retirement CEO||$134,076|
|Pharmacist – per Diem||$133,728|
|Deputy District Attorney-Basic||$132,418|
|Captain – Sheriff||$130,081|
|Assistant County Auditor Controller||$130,080|
|Children & Family Service Dir.||$129,801|
|Board of Supervisors (Proposed)||$129,216|
|LAFCO Executive Officer||$127,785|
|First 5 Executive Director||$127,522|
|Director of Mental Health Services||$127,352|
|Deputy Public Works Director||$127,164|
|First 5 Deputy Director||$126,788|
|Deputy Public Defender IV||$126,117|
|Assistant Director of Human Resources||$125,002|
|Family Nurse Practitioner||$120,477|
|Health Services Education and Training Spec||$120,477|
|First 5 Finance & Operation Direct||$118,954|
|Supervising Civil Engineer||$117,683|
|Clinical Lab Manager||$117,502|
|Assistant County Probation Officer||$116,684|
|Employee Benefits Manager||$116,323|
|Forensic Manager (Sherriff)||$116,178|
|Capital Projects Division Manager||$115,668|
|Alcohol/Other Drug Services Dir.||$114,886|
|Nursing Program Manager||$114,644|
|Public Health Nurse Program Manager||$113,207|
|Ambulatory Care Clin Supervisor||$113,061|
|Principal Real Property Agent||$111,999|
|Info Systems Manager||$111,457|
|Nursing Shift Coordinator||$111,349|
|Captain (Emergency Services)||$110,365|
|Lieutenant (Sheriff Police Services)||$110,366|
|Administrative Lieutenant (Sheriff)||$110,365|
|Director of Haz Mat Program||$109,989|
|Assistant Director of Airports||$109,397|
|Registered Nurse – Advanced||$109,384|
|Sr. Traffic Engineer||$109,152|
|Network Manager (public defender)||$107,922|
|Info System Project Manager (Library)||$107,922|
|Fire District Info System Manager||$107,922|
|Info System Manager 1 (Dept. Child Supp)||$107,922|
|Land Information Bus Ops Manager||$107,764|
|Retirement Investment Analyst||$107,725|
|Fire Captain (56-hr)||$107,475|
|Quality Management Program Coordinator||$105,643|
|Facilities Maintenance Manager||$105,539|
|Deputy Co Clerk Recorder||$104,931|
|Principal Planner (Conservation & Dev)||$104,784|
|Sr. Civil Engineer||$104,395|
|Stormwater Poll Cont. Manager||$104,395|
|Dept. Sheriff Criminalist||$104,206|
|PW Field Operations Manager (Public Works)||$104,189|
|DA Sr. Inspector||$104,036|
|EHS Division Manager||$101,780|
|Personnel Services Supervisor||$101,318|
|Business Systems Manager||$100,743|
|Associate Civil Engineer||$99,797|
|Calif Children Services Program Admin||$99,649|
|First 5 Grants Program Manager||$98,436|
|Employee Benefits Supervisor||$98,000|
|Director office of Comm/Media||$97,604|
|Board of Supervisor (John Gioia)||$97,483|
|Board of Supervisor (Federal Glover)||$97,483|
|Board of Supervisor (Karen Mitchoff)||$97,483|
|Board of Supervisor (Mary Piepho)||$97,483|
|Board of Supervisor (Candace Anderson)||$97,483|
|Real Estate Manager||$97,281|
|Engineer – project||$97,176|
|Fire District Chif/Admin Services||$97,044|
|First 5 Early Chd Dev Prog. Spec||$96,543|
|Chief Pediatric Therapist||$96,350|
|Assistant Facilities Mnt||$95,969|
|Assistant Dir-Rehab Ther Services||$95,953|
|Aids Program Director||$95,684|
|Fire Engineer /56-hr||$95,340|
|First 5 Evaluation Coordinator||$95,153|
|Utilization Review Coordinator||$94,859|
|Registered Nurse – experience level||$94,797|
|Registered Nurse – advanced||$94,668|
|Health Services Info Tech||$94,392|
|Payroll Systems Administrator||$94,096|
|Deputy Director – Animal Services||$91,876|
|Human Resources Project Manager||$91,230|
|Procurement Services Manager||$91,183|
|Assessors Customer Service Coordinator||$90,446|
|Public Health Nurse||$89,925|
|General Services Facilities Supervisor||$89,543|
|Engineer – Journey Level||$88,250|
|Pre-Hospital Care Coordinator||$87,084|
|Labor Relations Specialist (HR)||$86,297|
|Sr. Fire District Dispatcher (56hr week)||$85,756|
|Social Worker Supervisor||$85,302|
|Sr. Human Resources Consultant||$82,676|
|Sr. Community Library Manager||$82,336|
|Homeless Services Program Dir||$81,570|
- Note: Many classifications listed above have multiple employees in the same classification such as nurses, fire engineers, firefighters, Lieutenants, captains, etc. Meanwhile, BOS have just 5 positions. Some of those positions also get overtime which does not count towards the base salary.
As we as a country are still digging ourselves out of an economic downtown, especially in Contra Costa County, its hard to see anyone getting a 33% raise, but if we want to continue to be competitive and attract the best we get we need to be able to pay a competitive rate. This goes for not only the Board of Supervisors, but all positions.
If the unions were smart, instead of trying to embarrass the Board of Supervisors, they would be better off supporting this increase and using this salary survey to their advantage in all future negotiations.
The county employees now hold the power in future negotiations because of the new salary survey change which was used. If the negotiations go poorly, there is always the 2016 election where Supervisors Andersen, Glover and Piepho can be replaced.
When looking at the big picture and the estimated million residents in the county, this $160,000 increase to the Board of Supervisors equates to just 16-cents for each Contra Costa County resident.
Will Candace Andersen Accept Raise?
With Candace Andersen being the lone vote against a pay increase, the question now becomes will she accept the raise if its approved Tuesday? It’s easy to vote “no” when you know a pay raise will be approved by four other supervisors, but its another thing to reject it when the check is cut. Will her increase be donated will be telling of how she really feels about the raise. Time will tell.