Nine leaders of 14 departments in Fresno County government got raises Tuesday from the Board of Supervisors in an attempt to make salaries more competitive with surrounding counties.
Approval of the plan gave department heads raises by position, not name. The nine raises ranged from 3 percent for director of internal services to 8 percent for director of social services, the directors of public health and behavioral health. Five others got 5 percent. Five got no raises.
The cost of the raises is $129,062 annually, with a net cost to the county of $27,390 because of federal and state assistance.
The item was approved without discussion during Tuesday’s meeting. The raises were effective March 27. No elected department heads were given raises.
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The amounts were based on results of a survey directed six months ago by supervisors to ensure that salaries in Fresno County are competitive with those from other similarly sized counties and commutable counties.
Board Chairman Brian Pacheco said supervisors raised pay for rank-and-file employees who lost money during the eight years of recession two years ago before raising middle management salaries last year and department heads’ salaries on Tuesday.
If we didn’t remedy this we could be losing our top talent.
Brian Pacheco, Fresno County Board of Supervisors’ chairman
“As we became better off financially, we needed to restore our salaries,” Pacheco said.
The county’s department directors are constantly targets of inquiries from recruiters, he said.
“There are even smaller counties where they can get equal or higher pay with less responsibility,” Pacheco said. “If we didn’t remedy this, we could be losing our top talent.”
Last July, supervisors raised salaries for unrepresented management positions because the salaries weren’t significantly higher than rank-and-file employees, and the management jobs weren’t appealing to potential in-house applicants seeking promotion.
In February, supervisors approved a nearly 8 percent raise for the county’s retirement administrator so the post would be more competitive with other counties and supervisors repeated their intention to raise other department heads’ salaries once the salary survey was complete.
In his staff report to supervisors, Paul Nerland, the county’s human resources director, told supervisors that the raise approved Tuesday “continues to address the issue in small steps and keeps pace with other county salary adjustments.”