Bargaining Update: Proposals Explained, Authorization Voting Begins

SEIU_Riv_Co_LBFO_MV_vote_crop.jpgThe SEIU 721 Riverside County bargaining team held the first membership and authorization meeting in Indio, Wednesday evening, and voting began. On Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, a standing only crowd gathered at the Moreno Valley Conference Center to hear Chief Negotiator Wendy Thomas go through the difference in the County’s proposal and SEIU 721 bargaining team’s and then cast their vote (pictured above).
To assist members in understanding exactly what is at stake, the bargaining team has prepared a summary of the current positions at the bargaining table.
• Click here to download a pdf of the proposal comparison presentation given by SEIU 721 Chief Negotiator Wendy Thomas at the membership meeting in Moreno Valley, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011.
•  Click here for a copy of the County’s LBFO to SEIU 721.
• Click here for a summary of the County’s LBFO submitted to SEIU 721 on 11/07/11.
• Click here for a summary of SEIU Local 721 bargaining team’s final proposal submitted to the County on 11/08/2011.
• Click here for  SEIU 721 Chief Negotiator’s response to the County’s declaration of impasse.
For clarification, the voting process currently in effect is an authorization vote only. This vote is being taken to give the membership the opportunity to direct their elected SEIU 721 bargaining team to either accept or reject the County’s Last Best and Final Offer (LBFO).
If the membership votes YES to accept the County’s last offer, it will still go out for a ratification vote which will include the standard ballots mailed to the residence on record for every active SEIU 721 member in a Riverside County bargaining unit. A YES vote will lock all SEIU 721 members into the County’s LBFO for the next three years with no general wage increases to offset the rising cost-of-living expenses, no additional FLEX benefits to counter rising health care premiums, and an overall 5% permanent reduction in their take home pay with no guarantee of layoffs out of seniority. In addition, members would be accepting a “Fairness” Agreement that allows top managers and elected officials to reward themselves with unlimited increases in salary and benefits to offset their new retirement contributions or to cease making any contributions to their own pensions.  
If the membership follows the unanimous recommendation of their SEIU 721 bargaining team and votes NO to reject the County’s last offer, the County has declared that it will impose its own Terms and Conditions of employment on SEIU 721 members similar to what it attempted to do in 2009. The Terms and Conditions of employment can be no worse than what is already included in their LBFO and they can only impose it for one year. During a period of imposition, there is no agreed upon contract or MOU in place and members may participate in multiple job actions, up to and including strikes. It is important for members to realize that the courts have already ruled that the County illegally imposed on SEIU 721 members in 2009 and has ordered them to make all affected employees “whole” including retroactive payment of all lost wages. With a NO vote on this LBFO, it will allow your SEIU 721 bargaining team to continue to demand county management to return to the bargaining table to negotiate in good faith for a successor MOU while pursuing all legal actions necessary to protect our members and make them whole again. Under current labor law, without an MOU in place, the County is already legally bound to return to the negotiation table in March 2012 to begin a new cycle of bargaining.
For a more detailed explanation of these offers and the impact of a YES or NO vote, please attend one of the scheduled meetings.
•Click here to download meeting times and location flyer.

Ballots must be received by Noon, Monday, Nov. 21 at the Riverside or Palm Desert SEIU 721 offices to be valid. Tallying begins on Monday, Nov. 21.

0 responses to “Bargaining Update: Proposals Explained, Authorization Voting Begins

  1. 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.

  2. Barbara Olivier has once again put out an email that is misleading. She leads with a step increase of 2.71%. What she FAILS to state is that our pay will be cut 6% before that small increase happens. She also fails to state that the “fairness agreement” she proposes is watered down and only protects her and others in management.

    She also is playing on the fact that the Union could not publish details of the agreement because we are still in negotiations unlike the County who has walked away from the table like spoiled children after not honestly negotiating and not getting their way.

    Please vote and vote NO. Make them come back to the table and actually work to come to a fair agreement.

  3. One part is very concerning. Never give your rights away.


  4. Not sure what this means. Can someone explain to me. Also, why is the county allowed to send us scare emails at work?

  5. Way to go members. Good show of support last night. I hope you were able to get the answers that you were seeking. I pray that you voted from your heart. United we stand divided we fall.

  6. Alejandra: it means they are already gonna screw us regardless. Yes vote is like bringing them lubricant and no vote means your gonna put up a fight.
    Which ya gonna chose-die on your feet (fighting) or live on your knees (slave)!
    Can’t get any simpler than this analogy…

  7. I am new to this union and came from another local hopital. I get paid less as a RN for the county then I did as an LVN at that local hopital. That should be an issue for all of us!!!! our union needs to work for us not negociates to cut our wages more. We are at the lowest pay scale already!

  8. 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.