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Supervisors Pushing To Reduce Benefits For County Employees

Riverside County Supervisors Kevin Jeffries (left) and Jeff Stone. File photos.
Riverside County Supervisors Kevin Jeffries (left) and Jeff Stone. File photos.

Cutting severance pay and other benefits for Riverside County employees will be on the Board of Supervisors' agenda tomorrow.

Riverside County Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Jeff Stone will be asking their colleagues to support a study on reducing retirement, vacation and severance pay by adopting private-sector policies and other methods.

Jeffries represents the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar, among other local jurisdictions, while Stone represents Murrieta and Temecula, among others.

The supervisors' proposal is titled "Require Every Department to Account for Cumulative Time," or REDACT.

"In recent instances, (the county) has paid out large sums of money to some persons who have retired, been dismissed, or left county employment for various reasons," Jeffries and Stone wrote in documents posted to the board's policy agenda.

According to the supervisors, "large payouts" have been the result of union contracts or county resolutions intended to compensate employees for "extra time worked." Unused vacation time and sick days can be redeemed for cash when an employee parts from county service.

"In many cases, these awards have been for thousands of accumulated hours of 'annual leave,' amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars," Jeffries and Stone said.

They emphasized the need for increased accountability in tracking and documenting employees' accrued leave time so that there are no irregularities and every hour is "verified, monitored and tracked."

The issue of accrued vacation and sick time compensation came under close scrutiny two years ago when the board approved a four-year memorandum of understanding with the Deputy District Attorneys' Association.

Under the terms of that deal, county prosecutors are permitted to amass 2,080 hours of vacation time during their careers and can cash in 40 hours of unused time every quarter. The balance would be paid when a DDA retires or otherwise leaves government service.

In exchange, the DDAA acquiesced to members paying more toward their own pensions. --City News Service

Grace McGovern December 02, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Actually, the abusers are those that make high salaries, they make it look bad for the little guy at the bottom. But, I do agree with some of the changes, they should change them to the ones that are similar for federal employees. For federal employees, the annual leave is capped at 240 hours a year (4,080 hours is just excessive and is subject to abuse), any more leave over the 240 saved hours you MUST take every year or lose it. This forces employees to take vacation time every year. Sick leave should only be used to add time to your retirement time, you should not be allowed to sell it back for money; when I retired, my sick leave that I had saved over the 30 years added 3 months to my service time, it isn't much, but adds only a few dollars to the retirement pay, not big bucks like the union goons get today. And, as for retirement, convert them into social security and add a 401ks plan like the private sector (TSP for federal employees); the county could take a minimum of 3% pay from the employee and match the 3% into a 401k account and allow the employee to increase their own investment money if they want to whatever the current law allows. This lets the employee be responsible for his own retirement by managing and investing as he sees fit. In the end, the employee would get social security and a 401k retirement. The employee could make money by investing wisely and not put the burden on the taxpayer.
SA December 03, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I say “cut the fat” … Democrats and Unions have caused all of these monetary issues… If they weren’t so greedy and self-righteous we as a whole would be sound…
Grace McGovern December 03, 2013 at 12:43 PM
I received a face book update from Mr. Kevin Jeffries, he states that this article is misleading. IMHO, what do you expect from biased media; Toni McAllister needs to take her head out of the shadows and be more honest (her misleading article is truly unethical journalistic misbehavior). Below is what he said, and I'm quoting his entire words. My recommendation from all this is to stop listening to the trash the biased one sided media feeds you, AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, GET INFORMED, DON'T SHOOT FROM THE HIP AS MANY OF YOU COMMENTERS HAVE DONE!!! "Just so you know, and it isn't clear from the article, this reform is aimed almost entirely at exempt management employees, and not rank and file. The severance pay that I want to target is exclusively granted to at will (non-union) employees, and the rank and file employees generally have to account for their leave time to their bosses, unlike management level staff, where it appears that they often don't report their leave time at all, accumulating obscene payouts when they leave later. Hope this helps clarify my goals here."
TVOR December 03, 2013 at 01:03 PM
I think the blame lies with the leadership which has made bad decisions in the past leading the county into such dire financial times. It is not fair to renig on the retirement agreement made with each employee when they are hired. If changes to the retirement plan are made they should only apply to new hires. The real fix in the long run is to get people to pay attention and elect representatives who will do what is best for the people, not for their careers.
sandy duncan December 03, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Federal govt has different benefit packages for congress senators and VP and pres. Their packages are more lucrative than a normal fed worker
TVOR December 03, 2013 at 03:06 PM
@ Sandy Wouldn't it be nice if congress and the senate and any other federal elected officials were compensated under the same terms as civil service employees? I bet there would be some very positive changes to our system.

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