Contra Costa County

CONTRACT DEAL: Contra Costa County and its deputy district attorneys and public defenders averted a strike and settled their fractious contract disputes on Tuesday.

In exchange for a four-year deal and other concessions, the board of supervisors agreed to restore 5.24 percent in pay cuts imposed on Sept. 1 during phased-in wage increases through mid-2014.

The county also boosted the attorneys' paid administrative leave by 14 hours to a total of 94 hours and authorized a new 2 percent longevity wage hike for employees with at least 20 years of service.

The employees will now pay their full share of yearly retirement contributions. The county had been paying half of the workers' portions.

Additionally, the contract reflects changes in state pension law.

Current workers are eligible to receive 2 percent of their pay per year of service starting at age 55; final pay is based on highest 12 consecutive months of pay; and could see up to a 3 percent cost of living adjustment after retirement.

For new employees hired as of Jan. 1, 2013, the formula changes to 2 percent at age 62; the benefit is based on an average of the final three years of salary; and the cost of living adjustment is capped at 2 percent.

-- Lisa Vorderbrueggen