I am generally very understanding of Douglas County Board decisions, so I was disappointed last week by the news of the Douglas County Board decision on implementing a new plan for employees and supervisors.
Historically, public employees have enjoyed compensation as good as, and sometimes slightly better than, private sector wages and benefits. Public sector managers and administrators were compensated at modestly higher rates. Compensation for supervisory management in the private sector though has oftentimes been exponentially more generous than to employees. This has resulted in the income gap that is so widely frowned upon by those outside of the select few — the 99 percent vs. the 1 percent. So is this what should determine the wage scale of Douglas County employees?
Predictably, the hired consultant revealed a study concluding that Douglas County supervisory and professional compensation fall short of that of the private sector. Predictably, I can prophesy the Douglas County Administrator, managers, and other select “professionals” will receive generous salary increases while the rest of the employees will receive little to nothing.
I am not now , nor have I ever been a Douglas County employee, nor do I have family that are employees, so I am trying to look at this fairly. Most residents are aware of the negative impact of recent legislation on public employees’ wages and benefits. This pay plan seems to be an effort to negate this negative impact for administrators and managers while retaining it for the rest of the work force. I don’t see that as being fair.
I would encourage the Douglas County Board to reconsider this plan and devise a way to lead the way to a more equitable solution and not follow what many see as a flawed private sector model. After all, if public professional and supervisory personnel are so vastly undercompensated, the private sector way is to find better employment elsewhere.
And on the issue of a stipend increase for Douglas County Supervisors, I’m disappointed that supervisors think of themselves before their employees. I feel it’s disrespectful and shows poor leadership. And the partial reasoning that “board members have to show up to receive the stipend,” only shows poor taste – doesn’t everybody have to show up to be paid? C’mon Douglas County Supervisors, you are better than this. Please address these issues in a fair manner for all. Thank you.