Most non-union Riverside County employees who work in supervisory positions will be eligible for performance-based pay hikes -- and could be subject to pay reductions -- under a program approved today by the Board of Supervisors.
"The double-edged sword concept is good here," Supervisor Marion Ashley said. "You can't have it all upside. Somebody might need a wake-up call to start doing their job."
In a 5-0 vote, the board expanded the county's Performance Recognition Plan to include non-union managers in every county department.
In collective bargaining agreements approved by the board over the last year, unionized employees were guaranteed annual merit -- or "step" -- salary increases as well as cost-of-living hikes and other benefits in exchange for acceding to the county's pension overhaul.
In a separate board action on July 31, managers in the D.A.'s office were awarded compensation increases of 5 to 9 percent, while executive-level sheriff's personnel were given increases ranging from 10 to 18 percent.
In granting the hikes, which were part of an effort to fix salary disparities, the board directed the Department of Human Resources to amend the county's Executive Performance Recognition Program so it strengthens evaluation criteria on which future pay hikes are based. The result was the new Performance Recognition Plan.
Under it, non-union, or "unrepresented," employees who serve at-will in supervisory capacities will be eligible for annual merit pay increases of 2.71 percent -- after they have reached the top of their salary ladder, which could be anywhere between 14 and 38 percent of base pay, according to human resources documents.
Evaluations are to be conducted by department heads using a "leadership development tool" that measures results, documents stated.
Employees who flunk could face salary reductions of 5.5 percent annually.
"What I like about this is it works both ways," Supervisor Jeff Stone said. "Like in the private sector, there's an incentive to work hard and be rewarded, but also a provision that if you don't do the job, you'll be demoted."
The number of employees who will be included in the performance-based system wasn't immediately clear.
Among the qualifying positions listed were the assistant clerk of the board, the assistant chief probation officer, the Department of Animal Services director, the assistant registrar of voters and the assistant public defender.
The HR department noted that all pay raises are contingent on the county's fiscal health.
Like unionized employees, the non-union managers will receive 2 percent annual COLAs for the next three years. They will also be permitted to redeem up to 80 hours of unused vacation time each year.