A Fight for Fairness in Riverside County
On July 2010, the ink hadn't dried on our SEIU 721 contract before generous wage increases and education incentives were granted to a select few in Riverside County's Executive Management despite a revenue crisis.
This action violated a Fairness Agreement in our Memorandum of Understanding that was made to ensure an environment that values all employees and is free of favoritism.
Our Fairness Agreement requires the County to extend the same considerations for wage increases as all others.
Fairness is in the Language
In Article 34 of our Memorandum of Understanding we have a "promise of fairness" that states:
"If during the term of this MOU any increases in wages, benefits, retirement, incentives or job security provisions are negotiated, mandated, implemented or reimbursed to any other management, non-represented, confidential or LIUNA represented employees, then such increases stated above shall be given to all SEIU 721 represented employees to the same extent and starting on the same date as the others and thereinafter.
We Understood the Crisis
Members recognized and understood the County's revenue crisis and made sacrifices in the form of 10 percent reductions to personal incomes in 2009. This year, our agreement remained "flat" meaning no additional costs would be incurred by the County.
SEIU clearly understood the economic climate and the only thing we requested was a promise of fairness to be memorialized in Article 34 of the MOU.
When the Fairness Agreement was signed on April 22, 2010, the County assured members that no employees would see increases in wages or benefits. After being ratified by members and the Board of Supervisors, the 2010-2011 MOU became effective July 1, 2010.
The response from the County has been a refusal from outside legal counsel to consider the union's good-faith request and honor the agreement. Grievances have been filed and are pending hearings.
SEIU 721 has taken the following actions:
- SEIU has requested the same such wage increases and education incentives for all SEIU represented members.
- SEIU therefore requested the County to reinstate step increases to our members in June 2011 (following a 23-month suspension of step increases similar to LIUNA).
The Bargaining Team is committed to defending all provisions in our MOU including the Fairness Agreement. We will take all action necessary to do so.
Learn more about our Fight for Fairness at an upcoming General Membership meeting on Oct. 26, 2010 at the Moreno Valley Conference Center.
Click here to read Riverside County's Aug. 25 response to SEIU regarding our request to honor the Fairness Agreement.
Click here to read the Sept. 14 SEIU response from Vice Presidents Wendy Thomas and Barbara Cayon.