Wednesday evening I came across this headline on OCRegister.com: County managers take $4.4 million in cash perk. Register investigative reporter Tony Saavedra dug up the dirt on the $4,500 optional benefit perk County Managers get. It appears that theÂ management perk intended to pay for education and career improvement courses is instead being used as a cash bonus by administrators who are taking the money without having to disclose how it is spent. While rank-and-file employees have a narrowly defined tuition reimbursement program that covers educational expenses, the managersÂ benefit has no control at all.
On Tuesday the managers voted toÂ direct their negotiators to work out the details of a possible deferral of their 2% pay increase scheduled to begin on January 1st. The time frame for the deferralÂ has yet to be determined and some managers suggested at their meeting that payment of their raises be postponed, and simply paid to them retroactivelyÂ at a later date rather than deferred. Whatever is worked out will still need to go back to the managers for a vote. So despite all their crowing to the contrary, they really haven’t agreed to defer anything yet.
On the other hand, non-management Social Services workers voted last week to accept the county proposal of furloughs of one day per pay period from February through June. My understanding is that concession is worth about $16 million.
You may recall that on Monday, I wrote about a reportÂ in the Register that portrayed the salary of OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino as excessive. It took a couple days to dig this information up, but I think what I found will put that story in a new perspective.
Listed below is the current annual compensation amount, inclusive of expense allowances and optional benefit plans you requested. Please note that benefits also include health plan premiums, Employees Assistance Program, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, dental insurance, life insurance, Optional Benefit Plan, 401a, auto allowance and Educational & Professional Reimbursement.
Carl Crown, Director of Personnel:
I am waiting for confirmation, but I believe that these figures may not evenÂ include the employee portion of the 2.7% @ 55 pension benefit cost that the County picks up for all managers.Â In contrast, Berardino’s compensation was $201,185 last fiscal year, almost $71,000 less than the County Personnel Director is paid.
You know, something tells me that Berardino is not getting hysterical when he calls on the Board of Supervisors and Mauk to “Chop at the Top.” Looks like he’s got real reason to complain.