A letter from Tulare County Chapter President Greg Gomez:
Brothers and sisters,
I’m pleased to inform you that the hard work of our bargaining team this year has had many fruits of success this round of negotiations. It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit against the county for them to finally wake up and start treating our teams with the respect that representing half the county workforce merits.
- New Sheriff Security Officers and Detention Services Officers will no longer have to beg and borrow in order to purchase their new set of uniforms for the first day of their jobs. The county has agreed to give new SSOs and DSOs a voucher of $250 toward the uniforms needed for their first day on the job. This is not parity with the allowance that Deputies receive for their uniforms, but it’s a step closer! We have proposed changing uniform allowances for DSOs and SSOs in every negotiation since 2005!
- New Employee Orientation: We are now an actual part of orientation! No longer will we have to chase people leaving to go home after their orientations. We get to have them for the last 15 minutes of the meeting and will have conversations about what being a union member is about and why it’s important to sign up. THIS IS HUGE!
Things we are still working with them on:
- Frozen steps and promotions: The county has agreed in concept to lift the freeze on July 29, but we are still working with them on implementation. People that promoted during the freeze weren’t going to get any missing steps if the county got their way. We are holding our ground and they are working with us to make it fair for everyone to get back what was owed.
- Step 5 employees: Employees at the highest step during the duration of the freeze weren’t going to get anything more than the return of 1.92 percent that was taken from them in furlough. The county considers this “a raise.” (LOL!) We reminded them we also furloughed a year longer than everyone else and we deserve something for that. We are asking for a one-time bonus for currently topped-out workers in our units.
Our hope is to get a contract finalized for you by July 10. Once we do, schedules with voting dates, times, and locations will be out soon. It’s important everyone come out and vote!