I don’t know what part of the story is more disturbing, the fact that the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave managers a 2.5% raise, or that they did it behind closed doors so that no one could see what they were doing. But when you add in the fact that some members objected in public to the raise when deciding not to approve the management contract that would have required managers to pay the employee costs of their their pensions, your head may explode. Voice of OC’s Norberto Santana, Jr. broke the disturbing story yesterday:
Two days before voting down a new labor contract for the county’s top managers last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors quietly gave them a pay raise under a controversial bonus program called “Pay 4 Performance.”
Supervisors voted unanimously in a Nov. 8 closed session — with Supervisor Janet Nguyen abstaining — to grant these merit bonuses retroactive to 2010. Then on Nov. 10, the board voted down a new contract that had been ratified by the managers, citing objections to the same kinds of executive bonuses.
Supervisors have repeatedly told all employee groups that they will be expected to pay more for their pensions. Offering managers bonuses without higher pension contributions potentially complicates negotiations with other labor groups.
(Supervisor) Moorlach said during the meeting that he was “very uncomfortable” with the concept of smoothing concessions on pension pickups for executives through expanded salary bonuses.
“Salary increases and Pay 4 Performance just don’t make sense right now to me,” Moorlach said before voting against the manager’s 2012 labor contract.
But Moorlach’s statements don’t seem to jibe with actions supervisors are taking behind closed doors. They aren’t talking much at all about their 4-0 vote in closed session to grant the most recent Pay 4 Performance bonuses.
Norberto has more enlightening details in his story here. But suffice to say, the Board seems to be playing a game of bait and switch with their public comments and secret actions. They talk tough with the rank and file county workers but when it comes to managers and their raises, bonuses, and perks; it’s business as usual.