County officials know that county employees may huff and puff, but when it is all said and done, they accept whatever crumbs the county offers like good little sheep. There is decades-long history of such and it has become much worse in the past in the past six years. The current San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, led by Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux, has no reason to think this time things will be any different. Devereaux has proven he can hold the line on employee raises and force employees to take cuts.
Devereaux is known to relish dealing with unions. He fancies himself a union buster. And so far, mostly, he has succeeded in getting employees to sign contracts not in their best interests.
Devereaux has the strong support of two county supervisors, Janice Rutherford and Robert “Bob” Lovingood. Neither supervisor has any respect for county employees and the jobs that they do.
Why do these two supervisors in particular have it in for county employees? Let’s take a look at it from their perspectives.
The reason for First District Supervisor Bob Lovingood’s disdain for county workers is obvious. Lovingood and his wife are owners of ICR Staffing Services, which they founded in 1989. His company places temporary workers in temporary jobs, often with low wages with no benefits. In other words, he makes money by keeping local residents underemployed.
It is not in Lovingood’s best interest financially to bring employers to the county who need permanent, skilled employees. A low-skilled, underpaid employment force works to his advantage. It hurts his bottom line and that is the vantage point he is voting from when he votes to approve a new contract with county employees. Of course, with a county salary of $278,576 a year, the income from his business is icing on the cake.
Well, it’s more than icing. It’s money in the bank and lots of it, something with which most county employees cannot relate. County employee paychecks have decreased steadily over the past five or six years, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.
For Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford the story is a bit different. We are hard pressed to find any real job history for this bureaucrat that doesn’t involve feeding at the public trough. We are not sure she has ever held an honest job where she had to report to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week. She opts instead to work from home, assuming she is actually working, so she can be with her children, an advantage few county employees enjoy. And for this she earns $238,638 a year.
So tell me how these bureaucrats relate to hard-working county employees? They don’t. They have nothing but arrogance toward and contempt for those who do the real work in the county. And it shows every time they sic their bull dog Devereaux on employees.
Will Devereaux have three votes once again to force his will on county employees? We know he will have Lovingood’s and Rutherford’s vote. Will Supervisor James Ramos make it a threesome? Or perhaps Supervisor Curt Hagman? Or Supervisor Josie Gonzales? Will county officials be proven right again?
We won’t know until we see how much county employees really want change. We shall see this coming Saturday.
For more information about the Teamsters rally, check out their Facebook page or their website. You can call them at 909.889.8377.