Monterey County close to contract agreement

PRESS RELEASE: June 30, 2011

Contact: Khanh Weinberg – (408) 921-0098

Monterey County contract talks yield tentative agreement County supervisors meet today to OK workers’ cost-saving ideas

SALINAS, Calif. – Monterey County workers from SEIU Local 521 are close to a contract agreement with the county that would cut costs and bring significant savings to the county. The board of supervisors is scheduled to meet today at 1 p.m. to sign off on the tentative agreement, which would need to be voted on by the county workers.

The agreement affirms the commitment made by county workers to bring creative budget solutions to the table and work with the county to secure a fair contract for county employees.

The county has agreed with SEIU to extend layoffs to July 16 to allow both parties adequate time to finalize the agreement. If approved by the general membership, Monterey County workers will start contributing to their pension plan.

“Monterey County workers showed that they are willing to make sacrifices and do their part to help the county meet its budget needs,” said Gregg McWilliams, Business Technology Analyst and SEIU negotiating team member. “We live and work in this community and realize the importance of preserving the services we provide. It was up to us to find solutions in this difficult economic time and we did!”

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

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8 Responses to “Monterey County close to contract agreement”

  1. Victor Lurz says:

    Good job, negotiating team! Thanks for the long hours, and hard work!

  2. Rich Gierman says:

    I’m sorry, but I want to know a lot more about what I’m voting on before I vote on it; “highlights” simply isn’t good enough! ESPECIALLY if 3.5% PERS contribution means what I think it means – namely, the rollback of a benefit we were given close to 20 years ago, and the JUSTIFICATION for such a concession! It would be of enormous value to see a sample calculation for a typical salary of what impact this 3.5% change would amount to. Or is that something you just don’t want us to think too hard about before we commit ourselves to it?

  3. SEIU Local 521 says:

    Thank you for your communication. Starting tonight, negotiating team members will be present at membership meetings across the county to provide details of the settlement as well as to answer any questions you have about the tentative agreement. We hope to see you at one of these meetings.

  4. Chuck says:

    Will there be a copy of the agreement for us to review at the membership meetings?

  5. Rich Gierman says:

    I just got back from voting. It’s really a shame that you’ve chosen to post nothing but rhetoric and exhortations on your website isetead of the FACTS and EXAMPLES of what to expect, especially regarding the 3.5% PERS deduction. What I discovered by talking to a rep armed with the FACTS and DETAILS made me change my mind and vote YES where I had been determined to vote NO for this contract. For instance: There are two line items on your paystub which reference County-paid PERS; The actual impact on your take-home is one-half of the smaller figure. If we had known that, instead of being fired up by the FUD factor (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) being perpetuated by everything published so far, it would be completely different. I believe if you hustle up and actually PUBLISH these FACTS before elections are completed, you might stave off a mass rejection of this contract that might otherwise be palatable.

  6. SEIU Local 521 says:

    Thank you for sharing your feedback and thank you for voting YES on the TA.
    Copies of the tentative agreement are available at every voting location for everyone to review. Members of the Bargaining Team are also present to help answer questions. This ensures that everyone gets all the information they need before they vote. We will definitely use your feedback to help improve the process in the future. Meantime, member-to-member conversations are the most effective means of communication… we hope you spread the word that the Bargaining Team negotiated a more than decent TA under extremely difficult economic times.

  7. GK says:

    I don’t know about this…I remember way over 20 years ago receiving this benenfit and NOT taking a raise because of so called hard times. I remember that when we got it, it was a significant difference in our pay check, it would make sense that 20 years later, 3.5% is going to be a LOT of money coming out of our checks since many of us have promoted, and received all of our step increases. I think the employees should have been thinking “This is a benefit we will NEVER” be offered again…..and the layoffs, in some instances maybe they should have happened anyway.

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