I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Salary Compression Wasn't on the Radar......It Just Wasn't

Compression was not the issue the PBA's hand-selected candidate focused fact it wasn't even on her radar....

As I posted before, Salary Compression was not a big issue in my campaign for office. It wasn't mentioned at all in our rallies..and I stand by that. The issues for our district, the big issues, were storm-water, infrastructure, growth management, economic development, OLF 8, etc.

Here is the proof:

On August 27th, the PNJ did an article on each of the candidates in the race for District 1; by August, the PBA had selected their candidate to endorse in my race, and this candidate went on to finish in last place in the election.  But this candidate, the hand-selected candidate of the PBA, had the opportunity to broadcast the TOP PRIORITIES in the campaign, and guess what?  Like I have said, and I stand by what I said---Salary Compression was not one of this candidate's priorities.  In fact, I never heard this candidate mention it in any of our multiple forums and debates--It never came up.

And to say that because I answered a questionnaire where the back page question mentions compression in the context of pay PROVES that compression was the top priority in my campaign--to make that the connection is absolutely ridiculous.  

Of course I know what pay compression is, I dealt with it in 2007-20012 as a member of the school board.  What I said was the sheriff never mentioned it to me as his top priority, and in the campaign at all the rallies it was never mentioned at all, and the PBA's eventual candidate, the one they endorsed, hand-selected, and gave money to, never mentioned it or made it a campaign issue.  This is the fact, these are the facts.

Here was the PBA-endorsed, hand selected candidate's TOP PRIORITIES from the PNJ article:

"What are your three priorities in office?
1. Develop a strategic plan for Escambia County that includes input from ALL aspects of the community. The county does not have a strategic plan. Who would run a $400 million company without a plan? Without a plan we spend more time in costly and wasteful chaos management than in moving the community forward.
As your Escambia County District 1 commissioner, I will propose the development of a County Strategic Plan that takes the politics out of process, and moves our community forward efficiently and cost effectively on its highest priorities. And I will ensure that you have a voice in the preparation of that strategic plan.
2. Take a portion of the funds dedicated to economic development and reinvest them in local businesses. This would create instant job growth at a low cost of additional employee acquisition. Develop existing businesses; support those who have already invested in our community; and grow jobs locally with a lower cost of new employee acquisition. For years I have watched the county give the Chamber of Commerce’s related economic development groups $550,000 annually of your tax dollars to recruit new jobs with very little return on investment. Many promises and announcements, but few actual new jobs.
3. Create a Beulah Area Master Plan with full citizen participation for OLF-8 and the surrounding areas, including the Bluffs in District 5. OLF-8, the 640-acre site adjacent to Navy Federal, has the potential to be the most important economic driver in Escambia County for the next 20 years."


Eric Haines said...

You were told about compression by the Chief Deputy in 2015 in a meeting but you don't remember. On your candidate screening form you say we should be making the same or higher than surrounding agencies.You acknowldege on your candidate form that people are leaving because of pay and it will continue until it's fixed. You not only acknowledge the pay issues as an issue but actually had a plan named the "Blue Penny Initiative". You knew for months that there was a salary study going on that must have been being done for something. Weren't you paying attention and watching the BOCC meetings when you were a candidate and the discussion about the salary study took place? In all the budget discussion about the Sheriff's budget, nothing popped in your head and said "Oh yeah, I've got a plan for that called the Blue Penny Initiative and it can be implemented without raising property taxes..." You have said repeatedly that the issue of compression did not come up at all, not just limited to what the other candidate talked to. I still don't see that as a pass even if it were correct. The LETF literally never came up in the campaign but you were digging into that as soon as you got into office...

Jeff Bergosh said...

Eric--As I correctly pointed out--salary compression was never brought up in any of the campaign forums, it was not spotlighted by your hand-selected opponent, and it was not mentioned by any one of the three candidates in the PNJ forum that was published in the PNJ on August 27th 2016--right before the election. So to say it was some gigantic, massive problem that everyone knew about is just not accurate. If you and I discussed something in 2015, what I remember is that it had to do with low pay--not compression. But understand I know what compression is because we had the issue in the school district combined with low pay. But pay compression is a specific issue and specifically defined in HR terminology so lets make sure we are discussing the term accurately. Are we talking lower pay at retirement or during the last 5 years of a career or are we talking actual compression like we had in the school district where a new teacher was within $1500 dollars yearly of an 8-year employee due to no "rolling of the steps" on the pay-scale. I am being told that several steps were taken before the current sheriff arrived According to one of many former employees of the ECSO who have reached out to me over the last several months, here is what is puzzling to him, from a conversation I had

"I am puzzled by the pay compression issue. When I was there I was on a committee for that too. We worked with the union to create 1st class, senior, and master deputy classifications to combat that. Maybe PBA can clarify that, but I thought that pay compression was already addressed by that..These pay classifications have to be earned with extracurricular training credit s , eg classes. If there is not enough funding for these classes then perhaps that is an avenue for funds too. This way officers can continue to increase their professional expertise where pursuing more income, … eligible by their seniority .. but I believe that most of these contract provisions are still in place. Nevertheless, pay compression efforts were addressed 8 years ago and these classifications titled career path alternatives were deemed the solution."

So the question now is not how often or when the issue was mentioned--but fixing it going forward, because perhaps previous efforts did not work. I understand the issue, and I will work over my time on the BCC to address it.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Eric Haines--answer this question from a constituent that I spoke to recently that has the following question. Many citizens have also asked a similar question so answering this question here might allow all these citizens to better understand the ECSO structural hierarchy. By all means, please tell me if what he asks is not factual: This person served many years in ECSO before transferring out and believes the lack of money for salaries can be attributed to the exponential growth of admin and other ranks at the top of the organization. e.g. he states that previously the ECSO command structure consisted of:
Chief Deputy (1)
Majors (2), one Operational and one Administrative
Captains (3), one Patrol Captain, One Investigations and one Administrative
Lt (4) Investigations had a Lt., Homicide, Property Crime, Fraud and Forgery, Sex Crimes etc.

Lt (10) Patrol unit had one Lt. each per Patrol shift; one for Pensacola Beach, one for Perdido Key and one for Cantonment/Century and each shift always had 2 Sgts assigned to each patrol shift.

The rule of thumb for Sheriff's Office is one Supervisor per 8 patrolman. He asked why the current structure has changed and admin ranks grown exponentially such that , the current rank and file with the current ECSO is way off.

You have to two Chief Deputies

You have four Commanders

You have one Lt. Colonel

You have one Colonel

Just in Investigation alone, you have one Colonel, one Commander, a Lt. Colonel, one Captain, two Lt's, and five Sgt's. and somewhere in the neighborhood of sixteen Investigators. So you have 11 Supervisors overseeing sixteen Investigators.

You have Majors, by the way the last two promotions, One officer was promoted from Sgt. to Major and only oversees the Public Information office. he was promoted with a 35K raise and additional assignment pay. The second was an employee who was promoted past LT to Major with a 35K raise plus assignments pay ($240) for Investigation per month .A PIO is making Captains pay somewhere in the neighborhood of 70K a year as the public information officer--where other departments have 1 or maybe 2 information officers total that write press releases and work well with the media.

You have First Lt's, not sure what this is and then Lt's. So with all the added positions and increase in admin staff, the question from these constituents is couldn't these ranks be trimmed to improve morale and provide more money for raises for the working street patrol deputies? Eric, these are the questions being asked by constituents. Knowing you always give thorough responses, how about answering for the constituents--and by all means if this information is inaccurate please state that as well and correct the record. I'm headed to church and then the beach, I look forward to reading your response later this afternoon. Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to a response also. On the Escambia sheriff facebook page Eric Haines asked for a date.

Anonymous said...

Daddy Rick Scott is going to fix this for the sheriff no matter if it's compression, retirement or just the sheriff flexing his muscles. By God, the Sheriff is right and no one can question his large staff, large media, many dedicated to blogging and snitching on any dissenters and anything else he wants to spend money on. But, he is fighting on many fronts like every commissioner, every former senior member of his staff, the fair, the schools, funeral processions and every citizen by reducing patrols. I have an idea, build more donut shops throughout the county and patrols will continue, well at least a few senior big boys will go there.

Jimmie Lee Staley said...

Since Chief Deputy Nonsense (Haines) does not have the capacity to admit he is wrong, even when it may be a simple error, no response will be posted. He will back off and hide in a corner until he can climb to higher ground. Kind of like a cockroach.

Anonymous said...