County General Line Employees Reject New Contract In Union Voting

(May 21) The union representing the lion’s share of workers for San Bernardino County rejected the latest contract offered to the various classifications of county workers by the county.  Of the 5,524 county employees who voted on the proposal, known as a tentative agreement, 3,523 voted no. The other 2,001 members of the San Bernardino Public Employees Association who are employed by the county who participated in the vote cast ballots of acceptance. Some 7,000 county employees represented by the union did not participate in the vote.
Two classifications of county workers, nursing division supervisors and managers, did accept the county’s offer.
In the county’s proposed contract, County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux  asked that county workers make a seven percent contribution to their retirement fund, a contribution which here-to-now was paid for by the county. Workers were also to be required to pick up a larger share of their health insurance premiums.
The collective bargaining process is now expected to resume.
Representatives of the Service Employees International Union have been approaching county employees in an effort to convince them to ditch the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA) in favor of the Service Employees International Union, the largest bargaining unit in the United States representing governmental employees.
Joaquin Miramontes, a union leader for Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles, said his union, known by its acronym SEIU, would offer San Bernardino County more effective representation and could obtain better terms in the employment contracts for employees than SBPEA.

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