Thanks to the hard work of our bargaining team and the strong unity shown by our members, we have a tentative agreement based on a mediator’s proposed settlement.
All strike preparations will be put on hold while all members are given a chance to vote on this proposal.
After the Board of Supervisors saw how many members attended today’s meeting and voted to delay implementation, the state mediator was called in. She presented a proposal, and both the county and our bargaining team have agreed to support the mediator’s proposal.
The members who attended today deserve a pat on the back. Their strength pushed the Board of Supervisors the final distance.
Voting on the proposal will begin Monday. The full mediator’s proposed settlement is listed below:
Mediator’s Proposed Settlement
March 13, 2012
1. The term of the agreement shall be three years, effective with its ratification by the members and adoption by the Board of Supervisors.
2. In the first year of the Agreement, employees who are not currently paying health benefit premiums shall begin paying 10% of the cost. This provision shall go into effect after the County conducts a special open enrollment period of 30 days, to allow affected employees to make plan changes to reduce their costs.
Note: The effective dates for the provisions to follow, as applicable, shall be based on yearly anniversaries from the date the health benefit premium pick-up starts in Year 1.
3. In the second year of the Agreement:
a. The employees who began paying 10% of their health benefit premiums in Year 1, shall begin paying an additional 10%, for a total of 20% of the premium;
b. Employees not currently making contributions toward their pension costs shall begin contributing one-sixth (1/6th) of the individual employees’ contributions; and
c. All employees in the unit shall receive a 2% salary increase.
4. In the third year of the Agreement:
a. The employees who began paying 1/6th of the individual employee cost of their pensions in year two, shall begin paying an additional 1/6th, for a total 1/3rd;
b. The grievance procedure shall be revised to provide for binding arbitration, with a $5,000 maximum limit on any remedy being sought; and
c. The Union may request an economic reopener for the sole provision of negotiating a possible salary increase.
d. Both parties shall have the option of requesting a contract reopener on one non-economic issue.