It turns out you can’t trust the promise of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors.
Two years ago, they promised wage cuts to the lowest-paid workers would only last two years. On Tuesday, they decided it wasn’t enough, and they imposed a one-sided proposal on workers.
Tulare County workers didn’t ask for an end to furloughs, for COLAs, or for anything else but what was promised. They even offered to freeze the wage cuts to help the county. But while Tulare County can afford out-of-town anti-worker lawyers, the county supervisors couldn’t find a way to honor the promise they knew would come due.
The workers agreed two years ago to go without merit increases for two years as a way to help the county through rough times. The current contract says the workers will get their increases when the contract expires, and it expires Sunday, July 31.
After the meeting, SEIU 521 Chief Elected Officer Kristy Sermersheim told the members that we will look at the legal options. It’s clear the county didn’t bargain in good faith. But the best solution is to get new supervisors.
Three members of the Board of Supervisors are up for election next year. It’s up to us to replace those three with elected officials who know how to negotiate, how to respect workers, and how to keep their promises.