MARTINEZ (KCBS)— Contra Costa supervisors swallowed a bitter pill Tuesday in Martinez as they voted to rescind a salary increase that they had approved for themselves in late fall.

There were no fireworks this time around as county supervisors took back the 33-percent salary adjustment that created uproar among a coalition of labor unions. Earlier this month a coalition of county labor unions delivered nearly 40,000 signatures on a referendum petition for the pay raise to be rescinded.

At least one supervisor admitted that a mistake was made and that the action still doesn’t resolve their salary issue.

The supervisors said they’ll try to communicate better in the future. Supervisor Mary Piepho admitted that her colleagues were at fault for not educating the public about the reasons for their previous action.

“With our lack of response to the media and county employees on this issue, we’ve done a complete disservice to the public without educating them and informing them to our roles and responsibilities,” she said.

Her colleague, Candace Anderson said she’s talked with people who been supportive of the supervisors.

“I’ve had many people say, ‘Well is it really a full-time job?’ and I have to smile and say, ‘It’s a 12 and 14 and hour a day job.’ I think there certainly is that misunderstanding. The feedback I’ve had from many is, ‘You do work hard, you do deserve to be fairly compensated,” Anderson said.

The question now is what that compensation will look like. West County Supervisor John Gioia previously said that the Board hadn’t had a salary increase since a 60-percent hike in 2007.

Supervisors instructed the county administrator to return with options for increasing pay. Final adoption of a salary adjustment plan is not expected until January 20th.

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