Placer County Supervisors Hear Update On Layoff Actions

The Placer County Board of Supervisors received an update on the layoff process for the County during its regularly scheduled meeting today. On April 5, 2011, the Supervisors gave layoff authority to the County Executive Officer and directed staff to return to the Board when ready to issue the notices. An economic downturn has been affecting Placer County and surrounding area for several years. In response, the Supervisors have instituted a series of actions to meet declining revenues. The Board, in 2007, implemented a county-wide hiring freeze, which has resulted in 320 fewer positions filled. The majority of these reductions have been achieved through retirements and other separations. Additionally, labor costs adjustments have been put in place.

They include: Minimum employee layoffs (17 in total) due to reduced land development work and revenues as building and other permit activity decreased 46 percent over the last few years; Implemented 21 Mandatory days off without pay for all management, confidential, and professional/general unit; and Increased employee pension and health premium cost sharing for all employees. “Due to conservative fiscal planning and careful reductions in operating costs, the Placer County Board of Supervisors has maintained high levels of service while keeping layoffs to a minimum,” said County Executive Officer Thomas M. Miller. “While other neighboring jurisdictions have had to layoff dozens, and in some cases, hundreds of employees, we have worked hard to keep our layoffs low.” Six employees will receive layoff notices today; 2 of the 6 have bump back rights to positions in which they held prior county service. The Community Development Resource Agency’s (CDRA) Engineering and Surveying Department has one position that will be laid off due to insufficient land development revenue and declining workloads. The Child Support Services Department have 5 positions identified for layoff due to the implementation of a statewide child support computer system and subsequent state mandates requiring certain work be performed by a higher level employee. The County expects some employees in positions identified for layoff may not actually separate employment, or could be reemployed at a future date due to: A position becomes available due to employee retirements; when full year funding was included in the Proposed Budget and the CEO agrees to the hire; or Prior to layoff, the “at risk” employee accepts a different County position by applying through the recruitment process, or takes a voluntary transfer or demotion; or The laid off employee exercises bumping rights to transfer to a department or position where the employee held prior service (if the position is funded, vacant and approved to be filled). Today’s update is the first phase of three that the Board will receive from staff regarding layoffs. The next phase will occur next month for Health and Human Services staff due to a contract that expires with the Placer County Office of Education. The third phase will be later in the year when the effects of the state’s budget are known.