Bargaining Update 7.24.13


Impasse Reached – ‘A Tale of Two San Diegos’

We reached impasse on Wednesday, July 24, with the County in our contract negotiations. This means the proposals will be presented to a 3-person fact-finding panel that will hear the arguments and evidence. Then they will issue a public report that will be the subject of a public hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors.

Why did we reach impasse? Our Union and the County each put its last, best offer on the table (the full proposals are available here). The difference could not be more stark – truly ‘A Tale of Two San Diegos.’ One in which workers are respected, public services are important, and attempts are made to solve problems. The other based on bullying, threats, and fear with no interest in respecting workers or solving problems.

The management proposal borrows from its old songbook: ‘Either accept what we’re offering or we’ll make it worse.’ This may fly in the management meetings, but it will be seen as dishonest bullying by the fact-finding panel.

Here are some important differences:

Bargaining Issues SEIU Local 221 San Diego County
Bonuses vs. Raises Guaranteed base-wage increase over a 2-year contract for each worker between 4.5% to 7%. No base-wage increase for the vast majority. Only a 2% 1-time bonus each year which will average $950 before taxes. This is a wage freeze.
Equity Adjustments Guaranteed equity raises for certain job titles. Equity raises for the same job titles, but only if we cave-in and agree to the County’s contract.
Wage Scale & Steps In 2014, either keep current steps with a 2% raise or double the steps at 2.5% with guaranteed 5% each year for those on the steps and an extra 2.5% for all employees topped out. Double the steps and cut them to 2.5% with no raises if we don’t cave-in and agree to the County’s contract.
Flex Benefits Increase Flex above the County proposal by an extra $20 per pay period for individual, $40 per pay period for employee+1 and family. In 2014, increase Flex by 5%. In 2015, increase Flex by 5% for individual, 7% for employee+1, and 9% for family.
Insurance Reduce employee costs by $20 per prescription for diabetes, depression, asthma, and cardiovascular conditions. Reject, but will refer to a committee for study.
Employee Pension Offset In 2013, reduce by 1.5% for Tier A & B in AE, MM, PR, PS, RN, and SS. Offset by 1.5% wage increase for all employees. In 2014, reduce by 1.5% for all Tier A & B, offset by 1.5% wage increase for all employees. In 2013, reduce by 1/3 for all Tier A & B with modest increase in pay to partially offset (as low as 12 cents per hour).
Worker Rights Increased worker rights in the following areas: Promotions, transfers, workload, Union representation, and in disciplinary matters. None.

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