San Diego Board of Supervisors considering hazard pay to all county employees
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is proposing giving funds from the federal government to county workers as hazard pay.
The potential hazard pay funding totals $40 million, to county employees who were able to work from home during the pandemic, and did not miss a single paycheck as government regulations forced thousands of businesses to shut down for months.
The Republican Party of San Diego County is strongly opposed to spending the stimulus funds in this way, but are thankful the county employees were able to keep working through the pandemic.
Chairwoman for the Republican Party of San Diego County, Paula Whitsell, explained these funds would better used to help the small businesses that did not make it, or are still fighting to survive the government ordered lockdowns.
Whitsell discussed the issue in more details with KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries on Good Evening San Diego.
Whitsell said, “there are people who are more unfortunate” and the “money needs to be spent in a more equitable manner.”
The Republican Part of San Diego County published the following press release on the issue:
SAN DIEGO — Paula Whitsell, Chairwoman of the Republican Party of San Diego County today issued the following statement in response to the County Board of Supervisors considering hazard pay for all county employees:
“San Diego County went into lockdown in March of 2020, ostensibly to flatten the curve. We have seen our neighbors lose their jobs, our local bars and restaurants shut their doors to never reopen, our neighborhood businesses shuttered, and the unemployment rate skyrocket from 3.4% a year ago to a staggering 8.1% in January 2021. Without a doubt, many have suffered enormous economic and emotional hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors, led by Chair Nathan Fletcher, has formulated a proposal to establish a framework for the distribution of stimulus funds provided by the Federal Government’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These funds are intended to assist local governments in dealing with the profound impact of Covid-19 on residents who suffered the brunt of the pandemic and the distressed local economy.
However, San Diego County staff appears to be in line to receive hazard pay to the tune of $40 million.
County employees have not missed a single paycheck and many have been able to work from home throughout the pandemic. All employees have received all retirement and full benefits during the pandemic as well. San Diego County employees have been able to avoid the severe hardship experienced by many this past year. According to data from County staff, the average cost of a San Diego County employee (salary and benefits) totals $124,640 annually.
The question becomes:
Is it fair to provide San Diego County employees hazard pay while so many others are in desperate need of assistance from local authorities?
Grocery store employees, fast-food workers, delivery drivers, medical staff, and countless others worked in-person throughout the pandemic, putting their lives at risk each and every day. Where is there hazard pay?
The Board of Supervisors will be voting on the authorization to distribute these funds during the first week of May 2021. We call on Chair Nathan Fletcher and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to direct these stimulus funds to those who desperately need them, the most unfortunate among us who did not receive a paycheck during 2020. It’s just not fair to give San Diego County staff a financial windfall. It’s just not fair.“