Unionized employees with city of Carlsbad agree to pay-for-performance contract

Carlsbad city deal is first of its kind in county

CARLSBAD, Calif. - The City of Carlsbad took a bold step Tuesday night, agreeing to the first pay-for-performance contract in San Diego County with its unionized city employees.

On January 1, 2014, about 330 members of the Carlsbad City Employees' Association could earn larger or smaller pay raises based on their performance.

"It really is a whole new system," said CCEA President Pam Drew. "I think the days of expecting a cost of living raise every year is probably gone."

Drew told 10News the employees realized Carlsbad could not sustain itself and still give across-the-board raises every year.

"The issue with PERS and being unsustainable and being behind on PERS payments … we just knew it was a losing battle," she said.

While Carlsbad is the first to get a pay-for-performance contract in the county, other cities in San Diego County are watching to see if they are successful.

"As far as other cities in the area, I've already been contacted by a couple of them," said Carlsbad Human Resources Director Julie Clark. "Just saying, 'I heard about this from your mayor. Can you give me more information?'"

Clark would not say which cities. She said the pay-for-performance particulars took more than a year to figure out. She said the taxpayers are the real winners in the end.

"I think that it ensures that they get their money's worth," said Clark.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association wrote a letter to the Carlsbad City Council endorsing the contract.

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