Published: October 28, 2022
The County of Sonoma values all employees as its greatest asset. County employees are represented in 21 bargaining units by 11 labor organizations. All employee organizations are currently under contract and Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with the employee organizations are current and remain in full force and effect. All of the current MOUs expire between February and July 2023.
The County’s Labor team is working to develop a benefit and compensation package consistent with the Board Compensation Principles listed below:
- Competitive Total Compensation, Supporting Recruitment & Retention
- Fiscal Responsibility and Sustainability
- Addressing Unfunded Liability
- Supporting County Bargaining Team, and Fostering Stable Labor Relations
The County’s Compensation Philosophy represents the County’s guiding principles for compensating employees in a way that balances the ability to recruit and retain employees with the principles of fiscal responsibility and sustainability, and furthering our efforts to have a workforce that represents our community.
The County’s goal is to get to a place where we have a compensation and benefit package that helps our workforce and is consistent with the the above principles and furthers County services and obligations to our community and the County’s Strategic Plan.
While the County is committed to developing a compensation package that supports the County’s workforce, there are challenges that will be considered. As of June 2022, the 5-year general fund baseline expenses are projected to outpace recurring revenues. These projections account for a slowdown in property tax growth but does not include effects of a potential post-pandemic economic slow down.
Additionally, the County’s Unfunded Liability is at over $700 millionfor both Pension ($543 million), and Retiree Medical or OPEB ($165 million). While progress has been made to improve the County’s unfunded liabilities, continued efforts to address Unfunded Liability remains a Board priority as it is critical to maintaining the County’s long-term fiscal health.
Negotiations for successor MOUs are scheduled to begin in October 2022 and the County will provide accurate, transparent, and timely information regarding current labor negotiations on this web page.