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According to the story, the two people in financial management (Julio Canizal and Irena Kumitz) got promotions and pay increases because their workload increased. There are several issues associated with this.

First and foremost, to the best of my understanding, at the city (Personnel Department and Civil Service Commission), one is not eligible to have one’s position reclassified upwards or to get more pay if one’s duties simply increase in quantity. These folk just received more duties that were already defined as appropriate for their pre-promotion position classifications. That does not mean the level of difficulty, scope, accountability, etc., increased. They simply got more stuff to do. Historically, “more” has been insufficient to get one’s position upgraded (promotion) or to get more pay while remaining in the same position classification, much less both.

The other big issue I have with this is the inherent hypocrisy in the logic. If these two people got more work (remember, not higher-level work, just more), and if “more work” translated into a promotion and more pay, then many people/positions in many departments should be eligible for promotions and more pay each and every year that positions are cut from the budget. All remaining team members from any given team that experience staffing reductions should be treated exactly the same as these managers, and should be given pay raises and get promotions as well if they are expected to maintain the pre-staffing reduction service levels.

This issue happens regularly both to management (typically due to restructuring, where two or more divisions are combined, but the one division head who remains does not get a promotion or a pay raise (much less both), or even when two or more departments combine, and the one remaining department head does not get a promotion or a pay increase for taking on additional duties) as well as hands-on staff (typically due to budget cuts, managed competition, outsourcing, and/or restructuring), who often have to take up the slack when one of their coworker’s positions are cut.

I feel it’s important to put these promotions and raises into some historic context. All of the analyst positions in financial management received new position classifications and promotions and pay increases five or so years ago. The financial management managers also received pay increases at this time. In addition, the reporting structure within the department was revised a few years before that, when these manager positions were created by reclassifying supervising management analyst positions. The financial management managers received raises at that time, too, of course. As far as I’m aware, there were no qualitative increases in their responsibilities associated with these promotions and raises either.

Brian Henry is an employee at the city of San Diego.

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Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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