SANTA BARBARA COUNTY GRAND JURY 1995-96

Compensation of County Employees (M)

Abbreviations used in this report:
AC Auditor-Controller
BOS Board of Supervisors
CA County Administrator
MOUs Memoranda of Understanding
PERS Personnel Director

Finding and Recommendation 1: The BOS should obtain a professional evaluation of current wages, salary levels, and compensation packages to determine if they are appropriate.

Finding and Recommendation 2a: The BOS should make a compensation comparison for county positions with the private sector as well as other counties because the "six county survey" comparisons may have a self perpetuating ratchet effect. Finding and Recommendation 2b: For jobs not directly comparable with the private sector, the BOS should direct PERS to select and use standard job evaluation techniques to assess reasonable compensation packages. Finding and Recommendation 3a: The BOS, CA, and PERS should examine county leave policies to decrease yearly allowances and limit future accruals. Changes should be implemented as MOUs expire and/or new employees are hired. Finding and Recommendation 3b: The BOS and PERS should revise the Administrative Leave policy for exempt employees to eliminate use of such leave except in extraordinary or emergency situations. Finding and Recommendation 3c: The BOS, CA, PERS must institute procedures to reimburse prior yearly leave accrual at the earned wage/salary rate rather than the rate at the time of settlement. Finding and Recommendation 3d: The BOS, CA and PERS should take all steps necessary to ensure accrual policies do not add time to an employee's pension benefit calculations. Finding and Recommendation 4a: Sick leave and vacation accrual policies in MOUs are excessive by comparison to the private sector. BOS should not allow accrual for potential pension calculation credit and/or leave payment.

Response 4a: The Grand Jury report did not discuss the basis for the conclusion that county sick leave benefits are excessive. Payment of unused sick leave was eliminated in 1978. CA, PERS

Action Completed 4a: None.

Action Pending 4a: None. Finding and Recommendation 4b: The BOS should direct that up to 80 hours of vacation not taken during a calendar year must be used within the following calendar year, or lost

Finding and Recommendation 5: The BOS should examine certain benefits and perquisites for simplification and/or elimination as the appropriate MOUs expire, because the Grand Jury noted that they appeared to be excessive when compared to those in the private sector. Finding and Recommendation 6: BOS should direct CA and PERS to develop a three to five year compensation plan. Finding and Recommendation 7: CA and PERS should abandon the use of the term "no fiscal impact" when discussing compensation changes. Finding and Recommendation 8: BOS should direct CA and PERS to work with AC to simplify the payroll system in future MOUs.


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