All you libertarian leaning righties to the North and South should be celebrating this week! The age of "big government" is over in San Luis Obispo County—for four days only.
Actually, let me rephrase that. About 1,700 county employees who belong to the San Luis Obispo County Employees' Association (SLOCEA) took it to the streets from Dec. 11 to 14 to protest low wages and a laughingly pathetic pay raise of half a percent from their bosses: the SLO County Board of Supervisors. But only one big government-hating supervisor was the star of the picket line show. Yes sir-ee, the lady of the morning was definitely 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton.
At least two of the signs parading in front of the county building in downtown SLO on Dec. 11 made reference to the supervisor.
"Lynn Compton said a monkey could do my job," one of the signs read.
Oh! Sick burn!
Did she really? Well, sometimes the second someone opens his or her mouth, what really comes out is: "Insert foot here." Maybe that's why 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill has been on his best behavior as of late. He's given me no fodder for the last several months! None! It's disappointing, but don't worry, my avid Hill-shredding fans, there's plenty from last year. Telling a county employee that a monkey could do their job is almost as bad as telling a constituent to "fuck off" via Facebook or calling a longtime opponent gay for you. Almost.
In other picket-line sign news, my all-time favorite Compton quote also made the cut! "Settling for 0.5 percent when we are more than 9 percent underpaid?" the sign asked. "No! Sorry, kiddo. Doesn't work that way."
I knew that offhanded comment she made about social service workers during her election campaign would come back to haunt her. But what took you guys so long? Seriously. She was chatting with one of our reporters about affordable housing and James Sofranko, a social worker who wrote a letter in the SLO Tribune complaining about the high cost of housing.
"You picked a profession that's not a highly paid profession, social services," she said in March. "You picked that profession, you come out of Cal Poly, and we owe you a house? No, sorry, kiddo. Doesn't work that way."
Apparently, supervisors don't believe they owe social service workers a living wage either.
As one county worker told the Board of Supervisors during its Dec. 11 meeting: "I guess I didn't pick the right career." Maybe it's just that her career is one that people don't value. She only works with the most vulnerable people in the county as part of the social safety net that's designed—as cheaply as possible—to keep people from slipping through its holes. What supervisors do value, apparently, are upper level managers.
Kelly Michel, who described herself as a new employee with the county, told supervisors that she recently discovered that the board gave those very managers "5.5 to 11.59 percent increases when there was no money to give these people who do jobs that most of us wouldn't want to do. ... Giving wage increases to those who are already earning more than $200,000 a year, and some of these people are on Medi-Cal." So it was a little disappointing to learn that the union negotiated with the county to ensure that "essential" positions were excluded from striking to ensure that county residents continued to receive basic health and safety services. Couldn't the county have hired a barrel of monkeys to come in and provide those same services?
My guess is it's not going to work. The county is dug in. Even though an independent fact finder determined that most SLOCEA employees make 10 to 18 percent less than employees in comparable positions at other agencies. Even though that same independent fact finder determined that the county could afford to give its employees the 3 percent raise they were asking for.
The county is being a regular Ebenezer Scrooge to their non-management employees.
Even the Trump administration can figure out that people who work in SLO County need to be paid more. And he hates people who aren't millionaires—well, unless they're wearing Make America Great Again hats and yelling at reporters. Then, at least he'll pay them lip service, which is probably worth more for self-esteem than the super generous 0.5 percent raises the county doled out. It's the thought that counts, right?
Federal employees in SLO County recently received a 13.1 percent increase in their salaries as a locality pay increase, because even the folks who work for the biggest California-hating president of all time realize that it's expensive AF to live here.
"With higher costs of living on the Central Coast compared to neighboring counties, we cannot expect to continue attracting top talent while providing less pay," a press release from U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal said.
No shit, Sherlock. I think Carbajal needs to send a press release to the county telling them to get their shit together, because if the San Luis Obispo Community Based Outpatient Clinic that treats veterans had a hard time keeping employees around, then the county definitely is.
Want to make decent money in SLO County? No, sorry kiddo, doesn't work that way. You'll need to take your dumbass and move it somewhere else. Δ
The Shredder would look for work, but who else is going to keep this county on its toes? Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.