We reach from the Pacific Ocean to the Sedona Desert

Riverside County Bargaining Update (August 1, 2017)

Following this update you will find the grim litany of cuts to your pay and benefits that the County has included in its Last, Best, and Final Offer, (LBFO). This is obviously not something to which we can agree. And, frankly, I don't accept that this is the best that the County can do.

Throughout this process the County has refused to bargain in good faith. Actually, a more accurate way of stating that would be to say that the County Human Resources Department, (HR), has sabotaged any possibility of good faith bargaining between LIUNA and the County.

We have learned that the HR team did not even present our last proposal to the Board of Supervisors, (BoS). The BoS gave direction to their staff to issue the LBFO without even realizing that we had made a proposal that could well be within the zone of something to which they would agree. That proposal was simply to maintain the status quo for 24 months, with some increases to the flex benefit to absorb some of the big increases that are coming to the Exclusive Care and United Health Care rates. The HR team deliberately withheld this proposal from the BoS. We also suspect that the proposal we made prior to this last one was not shown to the BoS. We are working on confirming that now.

We are in the process of scheduling another meeting with the County to respond to the LBFO. Since the BoS were never given the opportunity to review and properly respond to our proposals, we intend to recapitulate our most recent proposal. This time, we will not only present the proposal at the Bargaining Table, we will also see that it is hand delivered to each member of the BoS.

Up until now, both the BoS and the members of LIUNA have been deprived of the opportunity to engage in a process that adheres to the principles of good faith and fair dealing.

I do not accept that it is too late for this process to be salvaged. I do not believe that it is too late to salvage our long and productive working relationship with the BoS. And I certainly do not accept that our options are limited to submitting to working conditions that are truly unacceptable or going to impasse.

Accordingly, we will making one last appeal to the BoS to come to an agreement that is sane and rational for both the County and LIUNA.

Below, I've included most of the cuts listed in the LBFO. Not all of them affect everyone, but you'll see that they are looking to gouge every nickel out of us that they can. This LBFO represents a rolling back of 20 years of improvements to our MOU, and represents as aggressive an assault on employees as we've ever seen at the bargaining table. So much so, that we have wondered if the BoS is even aware of everything contained in this offer cooked up by County HR and KBMG.

As soon as we have a bargaining meeting scheduled, (or any other relevant news) I will let everyone know.

In Solidarity,
Stephen Switzer, Business Manager

Cuts proposed in the "Last, Best, and Final Offer" to LIUNA

        •  No cost of living adjustment.

        •  No increase to flex plan benefits.

        •  Permanent elimination of 2 step merit increases in favor of one step increases.
This reduces merit increases from 5.5% to 2.71%.

        •  Scaling back time that is eligible for call back pay.

        •  Bilingual Pay
Anyone can be made to use their bilingual skills whether they are receiving bilingual pay or not.

        •  Working out of class
The County can currently work you out of class 480 during the course of the entire MOU. They want to change that to 480 hours each year.

        •  All memos
Directive, Corrective, and Counseling Confirmation memos will be placed in your personnel file PERMANENTLY and these memos are not something which can be grieved.

        •  Grievances
We can no longer grieve Medical Certification placements, which is a section of the contract that the County violates quite frequently.

        •  Nursing Assistants
Hours (and PERS contributions) will be slashed by 16 hours per pay period. Shift differentials for CNA's and Intake Specialists will be eliminated.

        •  Inconvenience pay for the Travel Road Crew slashed by 25%.