More job losses are coming to San Bernardino County, thanks to the decisions of two county employee unions.
Leaders of the Safety Employees’ Benefit Association, which represents sheriff’s deputies, and the San Bernardino Public Employees Association, which represents most county workers, said last week they would not accept a package of concessions that the Board of Supervisors has asked all employees to take.
If they stick to that position, county CEO Greg Devereaux will have to close an $82 million budget gap entirely with cuts to programs and services. There’s no way to avoid personnel cuts in that kind of slashing, so layoffs are bound to follow.
Devereaux and the board had hoped for about $50 million in employee concessions, leaving just $32 million in cuts to programs and services. County firefighters had quickly stepped up and responsibly accepted the concessions.
But refusals by SEBA and SBPEA to do the same spell doom for the concessions approach because it was predicated on every employee group’s acceptance of the compensation cuts.