Documents/RRSD/5: Reform City Salaries and Labor Contracts

Commitment 5: Reform City Salaries and Labor Contracts

City labor contracts should be reformed and compensation for city employees should be benchmarked to the local labor market.

Other Information:

Over the years, salaries and benefits awarded to City employees have been steadily increased –even during times of fiscal crisis for the City. Among the problems with the current system of city labor contracts: Salary increases are not based on merit, but collective bargaining and longevity. City labor contracts now have a byzantine structure of requirements that limit the discretion of city manage ment to hold workers accountable for results. Overly-generous vacation policies are enabling city employees to bank significant leave balances – and receive annual cash payouts for accumulated leave Base salaries do not tell full story of city employee compensation – with a complicated and opaque set of “specialty” pays added on to base salaries for city employees in each union As San Diego taxpayers have seen pay freezes, pay cuts, and job losses, city employees have actually fared quite well by comparison. Our indicator of this fact is the growth of the number of city employees earning over $100,000 in city government over the past decade – and in particular since the economy has soured. The city’s labor costs must be reformed – to bring total compensation packages for city employees down to levels commensurate with San Diego’s local labor market. Put simply, city employees should receive no more, and no less in compensation for the same kind of work done in the private sector or non-profit sector locally.

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