As we move forward with negotiating our next union contract, it is the intent of the bargaining team to provide updates of every bargaining session we hold with the county within a day or two. Updates will include a summary of what was discussed, and we will provide links to scanned copies of any proposals that either the Union or the County proposes at the bargaining table.
The bargaining team met with the County on Tuesday, July 11. At this bargaining session, the focus was on receiving a budget presentation from the County. No bargaining proposals from either side were exchanged.
The County explained that incoming revenue for the County has not increased much, that only a few positions have been added from the County’s General Fund, but that there would be no layoffs planned. We also noted that the County has $21 million in reserves for the fiscal year 2017-2018, which according to our own research is much healthier than the average percentage of reserves that comparable Counties have maintained.
Of note was CAO Ray Espinosa’s opening letter for the recommended 2017-2018 budget, where he notes that: “there is a need to invest in our County employees. Ensuring that county salaries are competitive with comparable counties will enhance the ability of the County to recruit and retain the most qualified employees, in order to continue to provide outstanding service to the public.”
We agree, Ray! Speaking of competitive and comparable compensation, we have requested from the County any compensation studies of our workforce that has been done recently, as we are aware that the County has already used such a study in justifying increased compensation for a couple management positions they are hiring for. We have yet to receive such information so far.
Our next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday, July 20 where we plan to introduce a number of proposals.