County Supervisors will be getting sizable raises after approving in 2021 a course of action that tied their salaries to those of their legislative assistants.
County Human Resources Director, Tami Douglas-Schatz’ report on the issue, said a new ordinance was approved in May 2021 (by the previous board) increasing their salaries from $86,100 to $90,400, effective July 11, 2021. The law, which has several subsections, has two provisions that Douglas-Schatz said apply here.
“Subsection (1) a. of County Code Section 2.48.095 also states in part, ‘It is intended that the annual salary of members of the board of supervisors be a minimum of twenty-five percent above the annual salary of the legislative assistant classification,’” Douglas-Schatz said. “Subsection (2) states in part, ‘Board of Supervisors’ wages shall be reviewed against data collected in a manner similar to the manner used to determine prevailing wage for recognized employee organizations.’”
She explained that in 2021, Supervisors’ pay was 9.6% above their assistants’ pay, and the pay difference has shrunk even more since then.
“As no additional increases have been applied to the Board of Supervisors’ compensation since 2021,” she said, “the annual salary of the Board of Supervisors is now only 5.4% above the annual salary of the Legislative Assistant classification. Absent future increases to the Board of Supervisors’ compensation, the annual salary of the Board of Supervisors will be only 2.8% above the annual salary of the Legislative Assistant classification in July 2023, and will only be 0.3% above in July 2024.”
Last February, Douglas-Shatz said, “The County Human Resources Department conducted a compensation study for the Board of Supervisors, comparing their salaries to those of other Board members in similar California agencies. The survey results indicate that Board members are paid about 22% below the market median.”
One other method could be used to compare Supervisors’ salaries — comparing them to salaries of Superior Court judges, but again, the SLO Supervisors were lagging behind.
“On average,” Douglas-Schatz said, “the Board members’ salary for these comparable agencies is 61% of the Superior Court Judges’ salary.”
So no matter how you slice it, according to Douglas-Schatz, the Supervisors were due a raise.
So she proposed and Supervisors approved a new salary schedule that has some whopping raises in rapid succession that anyone might envy.
“In order to bring the Board of Supervisors’ annual salary the appropriate amount above the annual salary of Legislative Assistants, to address the market position, and to model the salary setting approach of the majority of comparable agencies…” They are:
• Effective July 23, 2023: increase the annual salary from $90,417.60 to $97,697.60;
• Effective June 23, 2024: increase the annual salary from $97,697.60 to $105,560.00;
• Effective June 22, 2025: increase the annual salary from $105,560.00 to $114,067.20;
• Subsequent to June 22, 2025, members of the Board of Supervisors shall receive annual increases as necessary to remain at 50% of the bottom of the salary range of the California Superior Court Judges. The increases will be approved by the Board of Supervisors annually on consent agenda in the same fiscal year the salary increase is applied to the Superior Court Judges.
“However, members of the Board of Supervisors will not receive an annual salary increase in any year when County staff do not receive an annual salary increase due to budgetary constraints.”
Supervisors didn’t have to accept the new salaries. “Individual Board members may also elect to forego these salary increases, provided they are a member of the Board of Supervisors on July 23, 2023, and that they state their intent to forego the increases in writing to the Human Resources Director prior to July 23, 2023. Any Board member who elected to forego the July 11, 2021, increase, and foregoes these proposed increases, shall continue to be paid an annual salary of $86,115.12, which was the salary in effect prior to July 11, 2021.”