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Orange County

Supervisors End County Attorneys' Bonuses

August 20, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to eliminate a controversial performance-based bonus program for more than 400 of the county's deputy prosecutors, public defenders and other lawyers.

The county grand jury and several supervisors have criticized the Performance Incentive Program bonuses, which have been given during the last three years to thousands of county employees.

The critics noted that more than 95% of eligible county employees received the bonuses -- evidence, they said, that the bonuses were not based on performance but were actually treated as additional salary.

Under the new contract, already ratified by members of the Orange County Attorneys Assn., all attorneys represented by the union will receive a one-time, 1% bonus this year -- the same as the performance bonuses -- but will not receive an additional pay raise.

Supervisor Chris Norby said he opposed the performance-based bonuses because they had come to be viewed as an entitlement and were not awarded on merit.

Norby encouraged managers to continue to provide feedback and performance reviews to employees, even though performance is no longer tied to bonuses.

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