By Josh Dulaney, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 12/12/2011 06:05:49 PM PST

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today will consider cutting salary and benefits for a group of probation correction officers, a move officials say will result in $3.6million savings annually.

County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux is recommending that supervisors impose a “last, best and final offer” on the Specialized Peace Officer Unit and reject an arbitrator’s recommendation that the county and the unit adopt a tentative agreement from June 30.

That agreement was rejected by members of the peace officer unit, and a later attempt to bargain failed.

If the cuts are imposed, it apparently would be a blow to the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association – which represents the unit targeted for cuts.

Observers say it would be the first time that such stark cuts have ever been imposed on a SEBA bargaining unit.

“I believe it is,” said board Chairwoman Josie Gonzales. “This is the first time that we have presented such low numbers. The proposal is quite lean.”

The county’s final offer includes the reduction of a 7 percent salary increase that the unit took, and the elimination of a 7 percent county “pick-up” of the employees’ share of retirement contributions.

Other cuts include:

The reduction of step increases from roughly 5 percent to 2.5 percent.

The elimination of take-home vehicles.

Caps on holiday leave.

The offer will also replace a
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“pensionable” flexible benefit plan with a “non-pensionable” medical premium subsidy.

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