Fresno

Fresno County approves $1,500 bonus for essential workers

Many Fresno County employees have been deemed “essential workers” and will receive a one-time payment up to $1,500.

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved the payment by a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, with Supervisor Steve Brandau casting the lone vote in opposition.

Essential workers who work 32 hours a week or more will receive $1,500 dollars, while employees who work less than 32 hours a week will receive a payment of $750.

County employees who have been designated as essential workers include unrepresented employees, management, senior management and department heads.

The list of essential workers also includes the following represented employees: California Nurses Association, Professional Employees, Stationary Engineers, Deputy Probation Officers, Public Defenders, Correctional Sergeants and Engineers. 

Elected officials will not receive a payment.

Brandau said his opposition to the payments stemmed from his belief on how tax dollars should be spent.

“We’ve decided at the board to pay all county employees $1,500 if they work 32 hours a week or more, and I’m opposed to that,” Brandau said.

“I’ve let our employee bargaining groups know that along the way. Now that decision is embedded in the contracts, I’m not going to fight it at the contract level, but I do want the public to know that I’m not supportive of using tax dollars for this.”

The total cost for the one-time payments is $3.9 million and will be funded from the county’s $194 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.