Sunday, January 7, 2018 – 1:00 a.m.

A Great Recession give-back forced upon San Bernardino County employees will no longer apply to the county’s highest paid management employees, if county supervisors approve revisions to what is known as the exempt compensation plan on Tuesday.

Currently, it can take nearly all county employees up to fifteen years, more than double of what it used to be, to reach the top of their respective salary range. It was a demand county leaders forced upon employee unions, when the county fell on hard times as a result of the housing collapse of 2008-09. That concession, along with others, has played a major role in lowering morale and damaging job market competitiveness in the years since it was enacted.

It’s a situation that in the past hasn’t seem to bother county leaders much.

County unions, rather than making temporary concessions with a specific sunset date (For those in Adelanto that means the concessions will expire on a set date.) agreed to permanent givebacks that are difficult to recover from. Other concessions from 2011 include employees paying higher amounts into the retirement system and salary reductions.

The county’s current posture based upon the recent contract extension with county attorneys and the aforementioned exempt compensation plan indicate that the county is on frame work of giving employees a three-percent raise in 2018 and 2019, with a provision for a possible third increase in 2020, depending upon county revenues.

Interestingly, the last regional inflation reading from the U.S. Department of Labor was already at an annualized 3.1%.

During the same time frames the county has increased its total reserves to well north of $400 million.