SLO County management raises back on the agenda

County Counsel Rita Neal


The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is set to approve raises of up to 23% for county administrators and management staff on Tuesday, according to the consent agenda. The board recently approved modest raises for the 2,400 line-level employees represented by unions.

The administrator raises are slated to cost the county $5,199,000 this year and $9,796,000 next year.

While the board was slated to vote on the issue in June, SLO County Director of Human Resources Tami Douglas-Schatz removed the item from the agenda. Supervisor John Peschong did not attend the June meeting. With only four supervisors in attendance, it is possible the proposed management raises would have failed in a 2-2 vote.

On top of the modest raises all county employees are slated to receive this year, many county administrators, officials and managements staffers are also in line to receive equity raises.

In order to determine equity raises, the county conducts a survey of a selected group of government agencies and private businesses and determines if the management wages in SLO County reach the average rate of the compared entities. If not, county administrators propose equity raises to meet the average claiming they are required to do so under a county ordinance.

“The board of supervisors interprets Section 2.48.180 to permit use of a formula for
determination of prevailing wage for department heads,” according to the ordinance. “This interpretation shall not bind the board of supervisors or its representatives to use, or nonuse, of any formula of determination of prevailing wages for any other classes. Salary ranges for appointed department heads shall be set to maintain equitable internal relationships and shall, when information is available, be computed in accordance with the following formula.”

While the ordinance refers to only department heads, Douglas-Schatz is using it as a guideline for all management raises.

Many managers and officials are in line for 17% to 19% pay increases.

While the 15.56% increase in pay proposed for County Counsel Rita Neal appears to fall short of other department heads, it is in addition to a 20% pay hike the SLO County Board of Supervisors voted to give Neal in 2020 that provided her a compensation package of $374,579 a year.

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