Monterey County members helped save the grand majority of SEIU jobs that were slated for layoffs during contract negotiations – and are helping to save an additional $4.7 million in County resources.
Originally, about 97 SEIU positions were slated for layoffs when negotiations began.
Members worked hard to present cost-savings ideas to protect jobs and services, including consolidating human resources departments and reducing contracting for services.
Employees reached a contract agreement with the County that was approved by the Board of Supervisors on July 12. Two weeks later the Board voted to restore about 91 positions slated for layoffs.
We now have only a few job losses due to structural changes beyond our control.
We are still working to find positions for every worker, including the ones whose positions were cut for lack of work.
“Contract negotiations were a real battle, but with the support of the members, and with the grit and determination of my peer negotiators we negotiated a deal that minimized the layoffs and has sparked the centralization of HR,” said Diego Quevedo, Vice President Unit K.
Saving $4.7 million in HR consolidation
During negotiations, members also pushed for consolidating human resources departments as a cost-savings measure.
In a big victory for all, the Board approved consolidating HR departments on July 26, which will save $4.7 million over the next three years.
“The reason was to save money,” said Greg McWilliams, a Bargaining Team member from Unit J. “We were out of whack with the surrounding area. Recentralizing HR departments will offer cost savings and improved efficiency. We’re excited about it.”
Greg was part of a Board of Supervisors design team that sought more efficient disciplinary procedures for the County. The team strongly advocated for the consolidation of HR.
They found that having different HR departments was expensive and created different standards for employees, which hampered performance management. Consolidating HR departments is expected to create a uniform progressive discipline process, which will help squash worksite problems before they become grievances.
“It’s part of a refreshed approach to progressive discipline,” Greg said. “We could apply one uniform standard through the entire County. So one department doesn’t fire you for being late, while another department doesn’t pay attention to it.”