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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Butte County grapples with staff crunch as it adopts new budget

OROVILLE — Butte County is struggling with its employees.

Butte County Chief Administrative Officer Andy Pickett said the county is down to 500 positions across all of its departments as the new fiscal year 2022/2023 budget shows.

Pickett presented the recommended budget to the board on Tuesday, which he called a “tale of two budgets”. The first is the one he presented, which accounts for the pay and benefits of all open positions, and a revised one that is planned to appear before the board at a later meeting that is responsible for negotiating with bargaining units.

Pickett provided a list of reasons why the county has fallen short of staff.

A large number of workers retired early and there weren’t enough potential employees to fill the seat, meaning the county is in competition with other municipalities, Pickett said. The county lost many people even after the Camp Fire, and the COVID-19 pandemic also played a big part in the loss of staff.

In response, Pickett is looking to bring up salaries to be more competitive.

“Throughout this process, I’ve been asked often how can we do this in times like these and honestly, it’s a valid question,” Pickett said. “It’s a good question, but it’s a straightforward answer. We just can’t afford not to do it. We are a service organization and services are provided by employees. And when we have uncompetitive pay we have We have a hard time recruiting and retaining employees. When we don’t have employees, we can’t provide services and do what we’re meant to do.”

World Nation News Desk
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