Association Decertification Move Mars Contract Vote

(June 11)  Less than a month after the rejection of a contract worked out between San Bernardino County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux and the union representing the lion’s share of county employees, the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA), a slightly revamped contract has been presented to the SBPEA membership.
Coinciding with the presentation of the new contract, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has initiated a decertification campaign to remove the San Bernardino Public Employees Association as the designated union to represent the lion’s share of San Bernardino County employee bargaining units.
In April 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. With some 7,000 county employees represented by the association not participating in the vote, 3,523 voted against the contract and  2,001 members of the San Bernardino Public Employees Association cast ballots of acceptance.
Mediator Dave Hart was brought in to further the collective bargaining process with regard to the pending contract. Hart proposed that a previously offered one-time $1,750 agreement incentive for accepting the terms of making their own seven percent contribution toward their retirement
fund be paid out in full to the county’s employees in July 2014 rather than in installments over two years. Hart also proposed that an additional promotion, known as a step and providing a 2.5 percent increase in pay, be inserted into the contract and go into effect next month.
Hart called for a reopening of bargaining in September 2015 and threw in the county’s provision of $2.3 million in add-ons to the contract known as equities be provided in September 2014, with another $2 million of the equity pool be implemented in July of 2015.
The remainder of the contract as was offered in April and rejected by all but the bargaining units for nurses and nursing supervisors last month is to remain the same.
Almost simultaneous with the offering of the new contract, mailers sponsored by the Service Employees International Union were sent to SBPEA members along with decertification signature cards.
The mailer bears the heading “More Than 5,000 Reasons To Vote No” and states: “SBPEA can’t fool us. They are sending another bad proposal back to us that will cost each county employee an average of $5,173. Respect our no vote. Join SEIU.”
The mailer further states” We have already spoken. Two weeks ago we voted no to a tentative agreement negotiated by SBPEA. Instead of listening, SBPEA is asking us to vote again on a contract that has not improved. We must vote no again.
Six bargaining units – nearly 12,000 employees – made their voices heard by rejecting the first SBPEA tentative agreement. Now we want our no vote respected and the opportunity to join SEIU 721.”
The signature cards began arriving in the mailboxes of SBPEA members on June 9. If a sufficient number of cards are signed and returned to SEIU, that union can use them to trigger an election of the full SBPEA membership to determine whether they want to transfer their collective bargaining representation to SEIU.

Leave a Reply