Bargaining Update: Team Urges No Vote – Authorization Vote Dates Set

Urgent Update
Bargaining Team Endorses a NO Vote!


Riverside County management issued a press release late Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 15, 2011, announcing an impasse in negotiations with SEIU 721 along with their intention to impose terms and conditions of employment on all SEIU represented employees. SEIU 721 will take all necessary legal actions to protect members from this improper imposition, while the bargaining team continues to demand the county return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith to obtain a fair contract.
Do not believe the propaganda being distributed by Employee Relations regarding their offer. It is imperative that members come to the membership meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, at the Moreno Valley Conference Center to get the real facts directly from your elected bargaining team. Everyone will have an opportunity to review the County’s LBFO along with your team’s last proposal and cast a vote authorizing your bargaining team’s next actions. All authorization votes need to be returned to an SEIU office by noon on Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 to be valid.
This may be the most important vote of your life as the outcome will not only affect you, but all future generations of public service workers.
Time to Vote
Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.*
Moreno Valley Conference Center, 14075 Frederick St., Moreno Valley, CA, 92553
*Dinner provided. Please RSVP (951) 248-4620.
The SEIU 721 Riverside County bargaining team will be presenting the details of the county’s final offer along with the team’s recommendation. It is crucial for all members to understand the long term impact of the county’s proposal.
Due to the importance of this vote, for members unable to attend Thursday’s meeting, the bargaining team has scheduled additional meetings and voting times at the following locations:
• Wednesday, Nov. 16
  –  6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Indio Performing Arts Center, 15-175 Fargo St., Indio, CA, 92201

Thursday, Nov. 17
  –  10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. – RCRMC conf. E, 26520 Cactus Ave., Moreno Valley, CA, 92555
• Friday, Nov. 18 –
12 – 3:00 p.m. – Hemet YMCA, 305 E. Devonshire Ave., Hemet, CA, 92543

Friday, Nov. 18
  –  5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – RCRMC conf. E, 26520 Cactus Ave., Moreno Valley, CA, 92555
• Friday, Nov. 18 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and
Saturday, Nov. 19 – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Both days at the SEIU 721 Riverside and Palm Desert offices:
Riverside – 4336 Market St., Riverside, CA, 92501
Palm Desert – 74-399 Hwy. 111, Ste. G, Palm Desert, CA, 92260
For other locations or questions please check with your work site organizer or call the office (951) 248-4620 for details.
Click here to download flier.
Now is the time to let your voice be heard and vote.

0 responses to “Bargaining Update: Team Urges No Vote – Authorization Vote Dates Set

  1. There was a issue about county offering two tier retirement plan for new and existing employees.

    I really do not care about new employee since they have a choice whether to accept job or not. SEIU should only fight for the existing employees. This view has been shared by many fellow employees.


  2. I respect your honesty but it is sad to hear. Do you remember when you were first brought on? If you get laid off now, you will be coming back in with the same benefits of the folks you are talking about. It would be a bummer if you had already put in 10 years or so and came back to NOTHING! Fortunately, SEIU fights for all employees, as they all pay dues. You may want to attend the MV meeting to get better understanding of the details to your inquiries, you may be surprised…

    Existing SEIU member.

  3. I think we should care about future employees as they maybe our relatives, children or grandchildren or friends and neighbors. With raises been frozen, lower pension possibilities this doesn’t seem fair. Regarding us the current employees this latest offer appears weak, only one step increase, whats going to happen in three to five years as cost of living is getting higher and higher. Groceries, household goods etc everything is going up. I’ve seen milk go up twice in the last 8 months as one example and gas may go up to 5.00 as it is already in other countries. Working for the county use to be about a decent way to make a living and retire on. I worked for the county for 11 years and then left for several years and now I’m back. I was hoping to make a decent living and stay here till I retire. This seems to be looking more unstable as we discuss this last proposal. This is the board’s last proposal but this may not be our last counter proposal.
    The board as other administrations and organizations in the western world wants to dictate to us what they think is fair. They are using their tactics to divide and conquer us so we will not act as a unit. as in these last two comments. Some of us will want to strike while others may want to strike but won’t. Why won’t many not want to strike because they don’t want to rock the boat in fear of the boat sinking. Or another possibility is many will think they are being disloyal to their supervisors, managers, dept etc. When something is not fair or just its not being disloyal to speak our mind. The rich are getting richer and the middle class is getting poorer and poorer. The few want to dictate to the masses what they think is fair.Old Indian proverb; don’t judge someone till you’ve waked in his/her moccasins Rosa Parks did something against the government norm by staying in her seat and not giving it up to a white person on the bus. Today she is commended for that act by many. This is no different.
    I’m a christian and many of you are or of a different religion or not religious at all. But ethics plays a big part here, My faith teaches us to honor those in authority and respect there positions. So some may say we shouldn’t strike. Well when rulers are not ruling just and fairly, we have the right to disagree, strike and make our voices united. The apostle Paul a early church leader was victimized and beaten and thrown out of town. He came back in town and said that he was a roman citizen and said his rights were violated. The leaders began to fear because they didn’t know that he was a citizen. We too need to speak up now rather than take this last offer and then regret it later as we will. The one step increase is only a dangling carrot that will appease many for a short time like a candy bar or a gift. We need something better. We should not fear about layoffs or getting fired if we strike. If we strike we need 100% not 80% because you who won’t strike and continue to work will be those in which the board were successful in dividing us.
    It appears since this was the board’s last offer, that we are not allowed to counter offer anymore. By them stating this its like playing chess, is it check or checkmate? We need to think outside the box or the board.
    What do you think?

  4. While I have the misfortune of being represented by SEIU, SEIU does not represent my views.

    1)There should be a two tier retirement system. It has been shown time and time again, within the County, State, and nation, that public pension systems are broken, unsustainable, and need revision. Fortunately, the retirement we were promised when we took the job is still on the table. What retirement system is available for future workers is none of my concern. If future workers do not like the retirement system offered, then they are free to seek employment elsewhere. Why is this even an issue? Who are you representing SEIU?

    2) Paying into our pensions- absolutely. Why does SEIU feel so entitled? Private sector employees pay into their retirement. While I enjoyed having the County pay my share, it is time we carry our weight and pay for our own retirement. Even with paying 8% , the rate of return on our pensions is far greater than anything available in the private sector. Again, if you have been poisoned with SEIU’s sense of entitlement, you need to wake up and realize that paying 8% towards our pension is far better than standing in the unemployment line. We all need to buckle down and find ways to better manage our own personal finances. It’s called Budgeting 101. It is time we get our finances in order and adjust to the new economic reality everyone is facing. Stop crying about how cuts will impact you. Again, if you don’t like it, you are free to find another line of work- personally, I feel fortunate to have a job. With the unemployment rate in Riverside County hovering near 15%, the choice is between paying 8% of my salary, or receiving no salary at all, is a no brainier. Seriously SEIU, what is there to discuss?

    As a paying non-member (refuse to join SEIU), I truly hope that common sense prevails and the Last, Best and Final offer is accepted. However, if it is not, and the SEIU sheep authorize a strike/work stoppage, I will be the first to cross the picket line.

  5. Part II- I admit that I am not privileged to the details of the contract so my take on the negotiations may be short sighted. Without a Fairness Agreement in place, my position is moot. IF this is the major roadblock to a contract, the County EO/HR Dept should be ashamed. Fairness across the board with bargaining units in negotiations is critical and without it, my hardline stance on the negotiations to date falls apart. More detailed information is needed.

  6. I am a 23 year County employee. I respect and appreciate all SEIU has done for me relative to bargaing over the years. Take this deal. 3% at 60 is unststainable for the taxpayers of Riverside County including me.

  7. People dont want to strike because they are living from paycheck to paycheck. One missed check means not paying your rent.

  8. The main point here NOW for all of us is to VOTE PEOPLE…recently a smart mouthed payroll rep was addressing a question I had about not being able to print my paystub…her response to my question was, “well that’s what you and your fellow union members voted for”…needless to say I didn’t get the help I needed, she also had a very good point, and to boot she decided my question was insulting to her so she filed a complaint to my supervisor. Nice.

    Whatever your viewpoint, for however long you’ve been a fellow public servant. whether you agree or disagree, EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE
    the outcome will be a result of who voted and who’s vote could be counted. That’s truly the best way to unite…as a union and as a nation…simply VOTE!

  9. If we are stuck paying 8% for retirement why does the county care if new employees get 2% or 3% they paid for it and it was invested by PERS? So since the new employees only get 2 % does that mean they only have to pay 7% because the 8% cost was because we got 3% at retirement. Now new employees will start at 2 steps lower and only 1 step increase with a raise instead of 2. So once they get enough new people in the county they will force a new best offer to get rid on the 3% retirement and why would the new people care, we didn’t care about them. Reminds me of the Nazi’s in Germany none of the non jews cared at first either until it was too late. I’m very dissatisfied with SEIU as I do not feel they have our best interest in mind. I say lay off people they will be on a list for 2 years that the county has to hire from. No cuts no percentage paid no 2 percent retirement. Lay off until the county can afford it. They will suddenly find money like they found 8 million dollars recently to given accenture, then hire the people back. Or not but no cuts.

  10. Well aren’t you just a ray of sunshine. Perhaps you should get the facts. Baaaahhh baaaahhh. The county’s fairness is subjective. P. S. Don’t trip crossing the line.

  11. If you can’t go to the November 17th meeting, you can also vote on Friday or Saturday at the Market Street Office in Riverside:
    • Friday, Nov. 18 – 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, Nov. 19 – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    Riverside – 4336 Market St., Riverside, CA, 92501

  12. SEIU represents the views of those employees with longevity. All of a sudden they are pro not-even-here-employees. I don’t feel they take into consideration the newer employees (under 7 years) that are here now. Those who would be laid off (thanks to a longevity clause) if the County decides to layoff people. When SEIU agreed to freeze salaries seems to me the representatives (being maxed-out) had something to do with it. How come they were not outraged then? where was the talk of strike then?
    Though having money taken out of my paycheck to pay into my retirement is not my first choice, neither was being frozen at step 2 for 3 years. Yet, SEIU agreed to it. We didn’t go on strike when salaries where frozen, I will not go on strike for those who agreed to it now.

  13. What happens to my 3 years of no raises did I lose those steps. If I missed out on step 2, 3, and 4 will the 2.71% the county is now offering on my steps be starting back on step 2? I know this sound complacated but the fact is the county is offering 2.71 on my salary of 2008 not 2011. I don’t want to start at step 5 when this contract is signed I want to start back at step 2 which will give me some years to continue and collect step increases. Am I making sense to anyone?

  14. I agree with WAKE UP. I’ve worked for the County for 13.5 years and was thrilled to get a job with 2% at 60. Previous 20 years in the private sector with good pay was nothing compared to this gig. We survived a 10% furlough year. We paid our 8% until we were vested. Hello…the WORLD is in economic crisis. Keep asking for more and watch your coworkers get laid off to keep this ship from sinking……nice…

  15. Again, why haven’t we been emailed the Last Best and Final Offer so we know what we are voting on? The bargaining people are holding that hostage so they can lead us around by the nose. I want to see the document now! We can read. Send us the document.

  16. What is the sheriff doing? With the economic climate is so bad, why are they getting the raises when LIUNA and SEIU are being affected? Let them cut the sheriff budget too.

  17. After reviewing the LBFO, we need to vote YES. While there are cuts, there are mechanisms to offset the cuts and a fairness agreement is included. Shame on you SEIU for leading everyone on. No more candle light vigils, no more scare tactics…stop serving the purple kool-aid.

    In these dire economic times, the LBFO is a good contract that will go a long way to ensure our jobs and pensions. I can’t believe that the bargaining team is recommending a no vote but what can you expect from adults who run around wearing purple.

  18. Not only does SEIU not care about new employees, the old timers don’t care about us either.

    Look at what SEIU has done so far to newer employees:

    1. Agreed to add 2 lower steps for new employees to preserve the retirement benefits.
    2. Agreed to no step increases which has no effect for topped out employees.
    3. Now wants us to vote No on a contract that would actually result in higher compensation for any employee with less than 5 years.

    And this contract does not mean the county will not pick up any of our retirement. The 8% is the employee contribution. They are only asking employees to pickup the employee contribution. The county is going to continue to pay the employer contribution of 13% as they do currently for all employees.

    It is easy to forget that we are still in a severe economic crisis. Most people in the private sector have not received raises and they have far less generous pensions (defined benefit plans are unheard of outside of the public sector).

    I am not being a shill for the county. We, as employees, need to understand that we must do our part to help the county. Furloughs were ineffective, but keep in mind that the union insisted on furloughs instead of other proposals.

    I can think of nothing worse for the image of county workers than to vote No on this contract and reinforce the stereotype of selfish, entitled government workers.

  19. If the bargaining team emailed the LBFO via county email the county would have them arrested, fined, removed and probably stoned. They would also know all of the strategic plans that you elected the bargaining team to purpose on your behalf. Not to mention someone crawling up the peripheral ladder giving the other side all of the details.

    Negotiations 101, parties negotiate at the table in a fair manner. Riverside County 101, blast not one but two emails to the entire county and negotiate via email with the members first then the bargaining team. OMG it is a message from the Director of HR. Get the subordinates fearful and panicky. While ending the insults with, by the way, we are going to have to lay off 600 people. Did you read a guarantee that you will have a job if you vote for the proposed deal of the century? Read between the lines folks. They want you to vote for the deal then they are going to lay off 600 people. It is in writing from the HR Director. Duh! This passive aggressive stunt is so last year.

    I too, understand your frustration. You are not alone. Please get the facts at the meeting tomorrow. I dare you! Don’t even introduce yourself as you will be wiping egg off your face. The county is trying to concord and divide folks.

    Trust your bargaining team. Those folks are working hard for you. They are not in bed with the County, BOS or SEIU. They are county employees just like you!!!!

    Hang in there bargaining team and thank you for representing.

  20. You are Bonnie. Please come to the meeting tomorrow and get those burning questions answered. The bargaining team will share the last, best and final offer they are proposing for the members. Then you will be able to make an informed decision. What your message said is so relevant. It is important that folks understand what is going to happen. This is not a great offer. You will get a 2.7% raise at the last year of the bogus contract on your anniversary date, that could be in 4 years. Get the facts and vote accordingly. Do not be blind sided by email blast from the HR Directors. That is why they get the big bucks to scare the subordinates. See you there!

  21. Valid points… Come to the meeting tomorrow and ask those questions please. You will be surprised what the answers are and you will not know until you attend. Rumors mills are fierce about right now. HR Directors scaring folks. They are trying to concord and divide the members. SEIU represent all of the members new and those that have been her for a time. SEIU is 6000 strong that includes all members. United we stand divided we fall. Do not let the county divide us. We are all brothers and sisters in the game.

  22. Bravo! Please read his blog. Please come to one of the meetings and vote. Get the facts and make an informed decision. Brother and sisters. Peace

  23. I say cut ALL of the fat from the top. You know you are top heavy that is why you want your special fairness agreement. Don’t get it twisted Johnny public. The fairness agreement is for the “fat cats” not the worker bees. They can elect to take lesser pay or leave. What happen to the ratios (manager’s vs line staff) that the county was order to give to the Board of Supervisors (BOS)? Remember? The county financial officer mentioned it during one of your board meetings. He said it worked before and we have to do something. He also mentioned how the county would hide money when those pesky state folks would come out to monitor your books. Remember? Start there. Keep the workers bees that are doing the jobs of the “fat” cats. There now the budget is fixed. You are TOP HEAVY!!!! It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Can you read my lips?

  24. What I want to know is why does the 2.71% increase is only for a new step for people who are currently at the top step and a step increase for people who aren’t. I’m “Y” rated and haven’t got a raise in years. And I don’t want to hear that I make so much more than everyone else in my classification and don’t deserve the increase. If you use that logic than everyone at Level 3 shouldn’t get the raise because they make so much more than Level 1. I’m not immune to cost of living increase in my health plan, food and clothing, etc. Also, I resent the fact that the BOS won’t acknowledge to the public that the reason they are paying the 8% retirement was instead of giving us a raise for 3 years.

  25. This is what a Union is all about. Layoff my co-workers, but don’t touch my paycheck. Is this what the brotherhood stands for?

  26. I feel that the County employees have, in good faith, agreed to forgo raises and COLA increases for several years to get and maintain the benefits that we have. County Management made this agreement with us!! I would only vote Yes on the Counties proposal if they gave us everything that we gave up back! I have just looked on-line, and can prove that Bob Buster is lying when he says that we are paid salaries that compare to neighboring government agencies. My position, Accounting Tech II caps out at $4,562.27 per the County of Riverside Human Resources web site. The City of Riverside cap for the same exact position is $5,350, also taken from from the Cities web site. That is a 17% difference!!!! I can’t just leave, as I have worked for the County for over 22 years. My husband was out of work for over 7 months, and now has to commute to Orange County (costs us over $400 a month in gasoline) and makes about 1/2 his normal salary. We and many other families are on the brink of financial disaster which I know those making these decisions can not understand as they make much more money than most of us do. If I received their paycheck, I would be able to live with the cuts, but as I make substantially less, I CAN NOT cut any more.

  27. I am grateful for what SEIU has done, but after seeing the final and best offer from the county I am beginning to think enough is enough. I am sure SEIU has tremendous pressure from union members to not give an inch, but let’s be realistic and reasonable. With so many unemployed, I for one am incredibly grateful to have a job even it it means some cut backs which is certainly better than layoffs! Yes, accepting pay cuts will sting, but if you look around, our economy is in bad shape and consessions are reasonable in a time such as this. The “us against them” mentality that has taken hold of so many thoughout this process is truly saddening and I am choosing to not participate in it. Please ask yourself, if this goes to impasse, then what?? Legal battles, talks of striking, possible layofs.. all because some are not willing to comprimise even when our county is under the worst financial pressure in its history?? Please be reasonable! Thank you, and I truly hope the best for everyone.

  28. The County is trying to VOID “Fairness Agreement” UNDER THE RADAR!
    All the BOS have been discussing in the meetings are the 8% cut on our retirement. They NEVER talk about their proposal to VOID Fairness Agreement Clause. County Management is trying to slip Fainess Agreement Void under the radar. We can all agree in some cuts do to the bad economy but we will not agree to be treated UNFAIR. County management want to exclude Fairness Agreement, so that they can give themselves and their chosen ones (like the entire HR departtment) raises in the future. This MOU is not about Retirement cuts….it is BIGGER than that…It’ the right that the county will have to treat anyone unfairly….by given themselves raises and perks…and others NOTHING!!!

  29. You ask for county employees to be reasonable, but I ask you when did we stop being reasonable. The only ones who are not being reasonable are the BOS/County. We compromised with the BOS/County, asking the county to contribute 8% towards our pensions, in exchange for COLA and raises and where has that gotten us. We compromised and went on furloughs, only to find out that the savings from doing so were minimal if any at all. The union has even compromised and agreed with the BOS/County and said that county employees should have a percentage of their pay go towards their pension; they are simply asking that the BOS give the county employees something fair in return. In regards to the Fairness Agreement let read exactly what the BOS?County is proposing: “It is understood and agree that this clause shall not be triggered in the event the County provides single or multiclass economic considerations for designated job classes including but not limited to issues concerned with:
    3.Parity (internal/external)”
    The way I read that makes me think that the BOS/County gave themselves and managers an out, stating that we do not need to hold to the “Fairness Agreement” when it comes to us hiring(recruitment) our friends or keeping (retention) our friends on the county’s payroll. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am tired of compromising with the BOS/County.
    I agree that enough is enough, and it is time for us to stop compromising and actually stand up for our rights to be paid a livable wage, and stop bending over backwards for the BOS/County while they “find” money to build their opulent palaces, while we are taking pay cuts and are on furloughs. In my humble we have been compromising with the BOS/County over the past couple of years, and each time they take more and more from us. I for one have had enough of so-called compromising with the BOS. People ask, “What has SEIU done for me”. I ask you, “What has the BOS/County done for you”. For many employees the BOS/County have given them homelessness or forced them to downsize, fewer meals for them or their children, missed bills and creditor phone calls because those families have had to decide which is more important, paying the electricity or feeding their family, increased stress, and more moments where that mother or father has to tell their child, “’I’m sorry we just can’t do those fun things we use to do together”. For those of you who say, “We have to say yes or they will fire us”. I ask you, where it said that if you did agree with their LBFO that the BOS/County would still not fire you anyways. I for one am voting “No”, not for my sake, but for the sake of my family.

  30. The County wants us to volunteer for a 6% pay cut in the first 6 months followed by more healthcare and living costs and another 2% pay cut the year after, and then nothing more for 3 years while they give themselves pay and benefit increases.

    We are the lowest compensated group for short term disability and healthcare. While others continued to receive cost of living and step increases we went without and were furloughed. We were promised that the cuts would be fairly distributed and although we would be first to take cuts for the County and Public good it would be made up to us while the others took cuts.

    I will not volunteer to their abuse. Let them impose. The results won’t be any different except that the County can not impose a 3 year contract so we’ll be able to come back to negotiations sooner. Come to the meeting and find out for yourself. And then, come to the monthly Regional Board meeting or the monthly Executive Board meeting and find out how the union business is done and contribute your suggestions and your complaints. If you don’t like this then be part of making it better. Don’t volunteer for a slaughter.

  31. Excellent post “New Employee”. I agree with everything you said in your post, if you have worked here less than 7 years, then it would make no sense whatsoever to vote no. There are many new employees who are just going to jump on the band wagon not realizing that they will have a far better deal with what the county is offering! Thank you for your post!

  32. Don’t be blinded by fear……We need to stand up to the BOS and show them we are not afraid or ignorant of what they are doing. Paying a portion of our pension is inevitable however, going another 3 years without COLA’s cannot happen. Don’t be fooled by this bogus 2.71% one time merit increase. I see comments on here stating we should be thankful for having a job?!?! What good does it do to have a job that keeps getting salary cuts while the cost of living increase. Many of us are in the same boat as people that are jobless, bills piling up, living day by day, check to check. We might as well be jobless!! Please vote “NO”……We need to stand STRONG and UNITED…..SEIU

  33. I would like to respond to the post left by “NEWER EMPLOYEES” and “NEW EMPLOYEE”. On one hand you both sit there and complain about how SEIU has done nothing for the two of you and the many others of us who have been with the county for less than five years because SEIU:
    1. Agreed to add 2 lower steps for new employees to preserve the retirement benefits.
    2. Agreed to no step increases which have no effect for topped out employees.
    3. Now wants us to vote No on a contract that would actually result in higher compensation for any employee with less than 5 years.
    You complain about those items but are more than happy to vote against the very same union who has proposed to the BOS millions of dollars in savings to the county while at the same time giving ALL EMPLOYEES (that means you two) a COLA, step/merit increases, additional flex benefits, free vision (which is what the managers have), a true fairness agreement (not that joke the BOS obviously fooled you two with), and a cap on the amount of money you would have to contribute to your pension should the rate ever change (something that is not in that LBFO from the County that you two seem to cherish so much). Yes the union proposed furloughs, but keep in mind that the County wanted it. The bargaining team has made proposal after proposal to the County offering many cost saving measures, and the County’s response was, “This is not financial, it’s political”. If you don’t believe me then go look it up, it’s in the minutes from the bargaining sessions.
    You sound more like hacks working for the County, posting on OUR site (since WE are the UNION) trying to spread your propaganda around. I would love for either of you two to respond to this, and explain to all the workers who are going through these difficult times and tell them why we should be grateful for the scraps that the County feels they are so graciously giving us, when we deserve more, not because we are entitled, selfish government workers, but because we have earned it.

  34. For those who think the County’s bundle is good enough, do nothing. You will enjoy the benefits and learn how wrong you are when the County imposes. But after you’ve realized what a raw deal it is the rest of us will have a chance to correct it when it is time to negotiate in March. The County can’t impose beyond a budget period.
    For anyone who has doubts about this, VOTE NO so that we don’t have to wait 3 years to make it right.
    A yes means that for 3 years you are agreeing to allow the County to give itself raises and benefits with the money they take from you.

  35. This comment was actually from new employee. I was wrong about the proposals and will vote no after hearing from the union. I am very disappointed in the lack of the communication between the bargaining team and the membership. Aside from “wear purple on Thursdays”, I haven’t heard anthing.