San Mateo County board approves pay hikes for workers

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A new three-year labor agreement with county workers includes pay increases for “cost of living adjustments, longevity and equity,” according to the county.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents 1,453 county employees, ratified the county’s offer on Dec. 12, and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved it on Wednesday. The contract will remain in place until Oct. 2, 2021.

“The cost of the salary and other changes will increase the County’s pension obligation by 0.04 percent,” the county said in a statement, adding, “However, due to the County’s ongoing fiscal prudence, the new agreement provisions will not impede the County in its ongoing efforts to pay down its retirement costs.”

The agreement includes a 3 percent pay increase for county workers effective Dec. 30, a 3 percent increase effective Oct. 6 next year, and 2 to 3 percent increases on Oct. 4 2020, based upon the Consumer Price Index. All job classifications will receive equity increases of 1 percent concurrent with the salary increases in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the county said.

The agreement also includes longevity pay: “a new longevity tier of 1 percent after the equivalent of five years and increased longevity pay totaling 2.5 percent at 10 years, 4 percent at 20 years and 6 percent at 25 years,” the county said. Also, vacation time will accrue at higher increments after five years of full-time employment, with incremental increases every five years through 25 years, the county said. Sixteen “Winter Recess” hours will be used during the winter holidays.

Board President Dave Pine praised the contract for increasing worker compensation “while respecting the County’s budget constraints,” Board President Dave Pine said in a statement.

“The willingness of the County and our labor partners to reach this agreement is a sign that we all remain committed to our work serving the public and to fairly compensating our employees for that work,” County Manager Michael Callagy said.

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