Tulare County aborts contract negotiations

After four bargaining sessions and just two written proposals, the Tulare County Consultant abruptly canceled the remaining scheduled meetings and declared that there was no need to negotiate with us further. She reiterated that most of the other unions had agreed to continue the takeaways for two more years, and that since we would not agree to two more years without merit increases and flexibly allocated promotions, they would go to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 26, and impose the takeaway conditions on us.

Saying that she was working on board direction, the highly paid County management consultant has consistently refused to consider any of our contract proposals individually and insisted on “package proposals.” This has the effect that no item, no matter how trivial or important, cannot be agreed upon unless all of them are agreed to. This “take it or leave it” approach is, in fact, not good faith bargaining.

We asked to call in a State Mediator to help us come to an agreement; the County refused saying they have tried that and it “was a bad experience and did not work.” Essentially, they want to take this to the board before the contract expires to try to invalidate Addendums B and C of our current contract which guarantees reinstatement of all steps and flexible position promotions.

Come to a meeting to hear the details, give your ideas and learn more.

  • We will fight to reinstate steps and flexibly staffed promotions.
  • We have a legal strategy.
  • We will present a strong case at the Board on July 26 at 9 a.m. SHARP!
  • We will take other actions that members suggest and want to do together.

Contact the union office, your steward, bargaining team or C.A.T. for a special meeting during your lunch hour Thursday, Friday and Monday.
Attend a meeting on Thursday, July 21, at the union office, 1811 W. Sunnyside Ave., Visalia. Sessions start at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Take vacation and come to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 26. WEAR PURPLE!

Summary of last “best” and final proposal from county

The really bad parts

  1. Continue to suspend all merit increases.
  2. Continue to suspend promotions in flexibly allocated classifications.
  3. Continue 40 unpaid furlough hours.
  4. Remove bilingual pay from the contract, no written guarantee that the payment would continue if county decides during the contract to change the personnel rules.
  5. Continue to include evaluations as a factor in deciding who gets laid off
  6. Refuse to allow any type of unpaid time off to work temporarily for the union
  7. Remove layoff language from contract, putting at risk the possibility of unilateral change during the agreement
  8. Continue language allowing the county to change retirement without agreement of the union

The O.K. parts … not good but not awful

  1. Continue to pay the $1,000 deductible health plan and increases during the term. Also working on a new plan in connection with Fresno County that “may” result in lower costs.
  2. Agree to correct a spelling error in agency shop language, and to reword a sentence about working two county jobs at a time.
  3. Allow either the Union or the County to open the contract mid-term if economic conditions change to make a change — but agree that additional takeaway changes could not be imposed on us without agreement.
  4. Minor language change to in-County meals and Criminal Justice Pay — no impact on anyone.

Actual improvements

  1. Agree that people working 4/10 and 9/80 can use their own personal leave day in blocks of 1 or 2 hours on holidays so they do not have to use their vacation hours.
  2. Add two more days to the time limit to respond to disciplinary actions.

Read the county’s proposal here (seven-page PDF)

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2 Responses to “Tulare County aborts contract negotiations”

  1. Robert Sena says:

    Do any of the above proposals from Tulare County aline with Kings County being that being that the Tri-Countys , Kern , Tulare and Kings Counties have very close and inter laced programs among the Tri-Counties.

  2. SEIU Local 521 says:

    All three counties contracts are independent of one another concerning union contracts, negotiation committees, proposals, and negotiatons in general.

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