Friday, July 8, 2011 – 09:55 a.m.

What a mess the County of San Bernardino has on its hands.

Multiple unions have rejected contract concessions in the face of rising health insurance premiums.

One carrier, Kaiser Permanente, is increasing its premiums this year by 15%.

For more than a year this website has advocated that county management must shrink payrolls instead of trying to force huge concessions on existing employees.

Some of what the county is asking for does make sense. But as usual the county gets too greedy.

Employees paying their own retirement contribution rate seems reasonable. But carving away at wages and benefits, while asking employees to forgo raises in the long-term, is pushing the envelope.

Particularly with inflation creeping higher.

Residents expect less service from government in bad economic times. A concept that doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out.

San Bernardino County’s misguided expectation of maintaining a full workforce was an immediate non-starter all along.

Now the county wants to reduce the number of hours employees work on a weekly basis.

In other words, we’re going to show you!

The county has reduced its payroll by some 700 positions. This is a modest pullback from a workforce of around 19,300.

If county payroll was near 18,000, there wouldn’t be a problem today.

But this would shrink the kingdom.

With less money coming to the county, from state and federal sources, it’s even more imperative to shrink the number of employees.

Government, at all levels, has a spending addiction that is about to come to an end.

It’s time to stop hiring……