Bargaining Update: Members to Take Action Against Riverside County

“I don’t want to strike, but I will.”
“Enough is enough! For months Riverside County has dictated Eric_Mummert_80x80.jpgthe terms of these negotiations and refused to bargain in good faith. We would rather be doing our job and providing the public with the services they deserve, but the county has left us with no choice, and no opportunity to reach an agreement.” 
– Eric Mummert, Business Process Analyst II
 “We’ve done our part in taking concessions and Riverside County continues to demand more without showing us the books and Kristina_Zaragoza_80x80.jpgavoiding fact finding. We continue to be the ATM for the county. We should be working with the county to fight against more cuts from Sacramento, but instead the county is fighting with us.” 
– Kris Zaragoza, Welfare Fraud Investigator Supervisor
After months of trying to reach a fair contract agreement with Riverside county management, only to have an improper and unlawful imposition of Terms and Conditions placed on SEIU 721 members by the Board of Supervisors, the bargaining team, with the vote of members and the approval of the SEIU 721 executive board, has called for a one-day unfair labor practice strike on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. 
All SEIU 721 Riverside County workers are to report to the County Administrative Center on what would be their normal workday shift. There is no need to call-in. Please join your co-workers on the picket line to stand up against the unfair labor practices of Riverside county. 

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012
7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon St.
Riverside, CA, 92501
For more information please call (877) 721-4YOU

“I don’t want to strike, but I will…”

for my family.
…for my community.
…for fairness.
…for economic justice.

… for our future.
Click to download “I don’t want to but I will” strike flyer.
Categories: Inland Area

0 responses to “Bargaining Update: Members to Take Action Against Riverside County

  1. Thanks David – We have to stand together if we are going to make a positive difference. I’ll see you on the picket line!

  2. You can SURE count on me!
    p.s. The DA emplyoees got that sweet 30% deal because Tavaglione’s son work for the DA.

  3. Its actually Stone’s son that works for the DA. I think we need to rationalize this situation before we act recklessly with a strike…The California Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) has ruled in favor of SEIU stating that pertinent documents haven’t been given to SEIU which violates bargaining in “good faith” which is a requirement for the impasse. A court hearing is scheduled in February to decide on the issue as well. I think this strike is being implemented to prematurely and should be postpone until sometime after the court hearing. If the courts rule in SEIU’s favor, a writ can be orders forcing the County to re-engage in bargaining discussions under the new rule of AB 646 which requires fact finding. If the County choses to appeal after a court rules in SEIU’s favor…then strike….remember, the impasse is only legally binding for one year which ends in late November of this year…then bargaining must resume under the new rules…the worst that could happen notwithstanding layoffs which can happen with our without a new contract, is that SEIU employees are impacted by 3% until negotiations resume in November and a new contract rescinds this motion…the larger picture here is that the courts have to rule in SEIU’s favor and any attempts of appeals to a higher court must be denied…if this happens, SEIU must demand from the County compensation for lost wages due to an illegal heads will prevail….

  4. What are members who work at night going to be doing? Are they striking during the day and not showing up for work that evening?

  5. Zee, you stated that “SEIU employees are impacted by 3% until negotiations resume in November and a new contract rescinds this motion.” Actually, it is more than that. We take another 3% cut July 1st of this year. And let’s don’t forget those of us who are seeing huge (out of pocket) increases for family coverage health insurance. Add to the fact that many of us haven’t had an increase in over 4 years. What the BOS did to SEIU members (making side deals with DA and nurses) sent a huge message to the rest of us: “We don’t value you or what you do to provide services to the public.” That stinks. Shame on them!

  6. ZEE, I understand what you are saying but the County has always appealed and has spent a whole load of money tying thing up for years in the courts.

    Please think of how much power we will have whenever the bargaining resumes if they know we are done being pushed around.

    I believe the reality is that we are about one imposition late on striking or we would not be in this underdog position.

    See you all on the picket line.

  7. The idea that the union will bargaining power because of a strike may be very wrong. The political environment will affect how a strike is perceived, and since we are public workers public opinion will play a factor. Since the general public has the impression that public workers are greedy and overpaid the BOS will gain political favor by standing up to the unions. This could backfire in a very big way. It will be interesting to see how SEIU’s strike in Fresno on Monday will play out in the media and political arenas.

  8. Well said. We’re lead by clowns who use power because they have it.

    The county produces no goods. This isn’t a factory shut down. Everyone is obligated to pay money to the county if we work or not. This is just a free furlough from the county perspective. From the union side its just to force more members to get involved for when they switch into politcal campaign mode later this year.

  9. I don’t remember voting on this. I am actually happy that the County is finally unfreezing the step salaries; and yes, I am a new employee paying my 8%, why wouldn’t the rest of the county employees do the same?

  10. I concur with you, LIUNA Member.

    I wish my bargaining representatives would reconsider the call for strike. The focus should be to present to the public the fact that the county does not have the sincerity to balance the budget. If it did, it would not propose to give a 30% pay increase plus 300 hours of leave time to the DDAA members. We need to encourage the tax payers to ask the BOS what kind of logic it uses to balance the budget.

    I also agree with ZEE that this call for one-day strike is immature; and that “cool heads will prevail…”

    SEIU 721 will look very silly if only a handful members show up on January 31st.

  11. Pubic opinion is controlled locally by the P E a wrag that is strongly influenced by Bob Buster, having former P E employees on his staff. What would you suggest we do nothing? Please, a constructive suggestion would be helpful hear. We have been illegaly imposed on just as your union has. I for one wish to expose the memebers of the Board for what they really are, tyrants. “Its not financial it’s Political” Barbara Olivera. I’ll be on the line I pray we have your support!

  12. There will not be “a few” people there. My office will be empty. Other offices in my department will have a handful of people crossing picket line. New member, why are you not worried? The county is not just going after 8%epmc, they want 5% percent from your salary, buster said it publicly. Our checks keep getting smaller due to health insurance premiums. Also new emp, unfreezing steps? No no no. the counties last offer only includes a one time step increase of 2.75 because of the time they start, July 2012. Some people wont see the 2.75 until 2013. New, this is about fairness. The da got back full 5.5 steps, retro to july 2011. da also got 7 percent across the board raises, 150 more flex, and 300 bonus hours. Bhster said its because theh agreed to the 8%. Guess what? Seiu agreed to the epmc and asked for less in return. Im striking to show my disgust at the bos.

  13. I will be loud and proud on the 31st. Standing proudly next to my hardworking co-workers. This is about having a fair contract, which the disgusting BOS never gave us a fair shot at. I will happily and proudly be casting my vote later this next to vote Buster our of office!!!!

  14. How many voted? Call off strike? ____seiu gave tons of notice about the vote. If you didnt vote, dont complain. If you did, your coworkers feel differently. If you didnt know about vote, why havent you called seiu to get emails?

  15. I will be there too! I don’t want to strike, but I also won’t be forced into crappy and underhanded deals.

  16. The point of the stike is to show that we are upset and will not take this sitting down. Yes this is going through the Court process but that takes YEARS. Yes they have to return the the bargining table in April either way, but the point of the strike is to make them think twice when we return to the bargining table..they have contiued to inpose on us (more then once may I add) because they can because we let them and never stand back up to them and tell them NO!!
    This is not premature…this is way over due. This is going to be HUGE, people think no one is going and that is not true. People from LA are even coming to support sad is it that they will come fight for us and so many are on here not wanting to stand up for themselves. This is not about money, this is polticial. If it was about money they would not have given that deal with the DA.
    And New Employee where did you hear that they are unfreezing step saleries?? the deal that was imposed on us was for one step increase ONE time in three years!!! I am new and not vested and am still fighting because if we dont, every year it will be more and more and more.

  17. I will be there to support my fellow SEIU members to to make the BOS give us the respect that we have earned and deserve!

  18. I’ve been reading some discussions about people being concerned that the strike isn’t something that they want to do. To this, I say, don’t, but you’re missing the train. Before you commit to a “yes” or “no” educate yourself on the matter. I have been hearing a lot of uneducated options on what the County is doing to public workings. Stop believing everything that the Press Enterprise or the BOS are telling us. It is the truth, tweaked. Read between the lines and look around your work place. The County is $80 million in trouble. The 3% that they took from County workers this fiscal year will only save a little over $3 million, if you don’t count the $1 million that the County gave the DA’s union. I’m a social worker but I can balance my check book. Where is the other, over $70 million that the County is stating that it needs to balance its books going to come from?
    Some people are just plain scared. If you’re scared, join the club. I’m scared. My face is on the “face” of the strike right now. I live in a two house County household. I’m a father of three children, and have a mortgage. We all have a reason not to strike, but nothing in life comes without a struggle. If you want to give into your fear, so on that day you can feel safe working, stay at work. Just know that the County isn’t done chipping away what you are getting paid, and the “perks” of your job. If you haven’t felt the financial pain from the 8% cut that is going to be happening in the next two year, the lack of pay raises for the last three years, the lack of pay raises for the next three years, the 10% pay cut that was done to use in 2009 because of furloughs, as well as continuing to do more work because your coworker are leaving the County and getting different jobs, then don’t strike. The one-time 2.71% isn’t a complete step increase. Most step increases are around 5%. If management or the County wants to punish you or me, then they have to go after everyone that will be at the CAC on January 31, 2012. We have to lock arm and arm now.
    I’m tired of it. This is a chance for you to do something for your family, your work place, your community, and yourself. Doing nothing assures that all that I listed above will stay in place and allows more to come. I’m striking.

  19. I am a SEIU 721 member and public employee of Riverside County. I have been working as a Medical Professional for RCRMC for nearly the past 31 years. I am proud of this service and the contributions of all those whom labor at RCRMC and throughout the County of Riverside whom provide vital and necessary services to the public we have chosen to serve. Now, because of illegal labor actions and disrespectful treatment by the County of Riverside, we are being called into action for a one-day strike January 31, 2012. Let’s do this thing. Let the people of Riverside County understand how the County Board of Supervisors, County agencies, and the various county department managers abuse their authority pursuing their own agendas at the expense of us dedicated servants to the public. Our leaders should realize and accept their moral obligation to not only serving the public but also all of County of Riverside employees. We are to be treated with dignity and respect and not with indifference as masters do to slaves. Likewise, we, as servants to the public, have the responsibility to care and dedicate our working life to the people of Riverside County. Let us negotiate a fair contract that will be honorable to all involved. To all those who are nothing more than “Water-Cooler gossips” that just dice SEIU 721 I leave you with these three quotes:
    “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato
    “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein
    “We have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them – the apathy of human beings.” Helen Keller

  20. I am a long time County employee with over 22 years of service. To answer your question ” I am a new employee paying my 8%, why wouldn’t the rest of the county employees do the same?” New employees do not understand that over the years, we have given up multiple raises and cost of living increases to keep this benefit, but still it continues to be put on the chopping block. My EXACT same position with the City of Riverside, same title and job description, pays 17% more!! I was promised certain benefits when I was hired, and stayed with the County all these years at lower pay than surrounding jurisdictions for the benefits. It should be illegal for any employer to promise benefits when you are hired, then take them away later. The minute the economy turns around, theCounty will find that they will not have a decent work force. They will be left with long timers that are sick and tired of being treated like dirt, and new people will jump ship in droves for better paying jobs. How will this help our community?!!

  21. Pay is a benefit. Everything is a benefit. Your formula is untouched… if whatever negotiated 10 or 15 years ago was so perfect we should have made it a 50 year contract. Things get renegotiated. Budgets are done every year. The world does not owe you….

  22. Latest from the DA’s Office: $15,000 – $30,000 one-time bonuses to the attorneys, cars are being given back (against campaign promises), KNBC Inland Bureau Reporter Mary Parks hired as the 2nd PIO for the DA (he criticized DA Pacheco for too many PIO’s), and Business-As-Usual for the DA’s Office. All this while we must strike and forego a day’s wages when NO ONE CAN AFFORD TO LOSE ANY PAY! I will never be the same County Employee. My house will be taken away in about 3 months and I have no idea what will happen to my family.
    Why do these people have no compassion? As of right now, there are 52 open job postings on the county’s HR website. When will our BoS take a pay cut that means something? We’ve been hurting for years at our level. What about Management? Who would dare cross the picket line while we are striking? I hope that pickets will block the driveway to the DA’s office and look the scabs in the eye as they drive to their covered, reserved parking spaces. If they can’t strike, call in sick. Please help us!!!

  23. We, the working employees, do not determine the length of a contract. That was a pretty lame comment. As you well know, the County would never agree to that. I would have agreed 100% to put the contract that was in place when I was hired into effect for 50 years! We got a paid holiday for our birthday, 5% cost of living increases every year, plus merit step increases (until you reached the top step for your job classification.) We have been stripped of every incentive that kept people working for the County at such low wages (except of course Management, the DA’s office and the Sherrif’s Dept.) I AM thankful to have a job in these hard economic times, but the average County employees have been treated like dirt at the expense of the DA & Sheriff. Did the DA really need to build a new building in these economic times? NO! Should they get raises, when everybody else is receiving cuts? NO! And don’t get me started on the County Human Resources extra pay perks, and offices with a fountain! The rest of us are sick and tired of the unfair treatment. The Board of Supervisors are only interested in getting re-elected, not doing what is right and fair. The Social Service departments are understaffed in the best of times. Can you tell me that the welfare of an abused or neglected child is not important, or not a public safey issue? That dept. is taking hits from the County and the state, and don’t get preferential treatment from the Board like the DA. The whole system stinks!

  24. If SEIU will go on strike when members start being laid off just as strongly as when member’s paycheck are getting cut, then I will join the strike. But historically, SEIU doesn’t strike when some get laid off as long as the majority of the paychecks don’t get touched. That is not a brotherhood.

  25. Joe, I know exactly where you’re coming from, my husband is an employee under the LIUNA contract, so for my 3% AND his 5.5 furlough is quite a pinch in our personal budget. 2.71 IS ONE step, we used to get a two-step merit increase, but those have gone by the way-side. We have also seen our medical insurance costs go up over the years and our pay go down. I’ll see you on the picket line !!

  26. As I have said in the past, we HAVE paid into our retirements all this time, with the salary savings from raises we gave up in past negotiations. We are not to fault for the County’s mismanagement of those salary savings.
    It’s in the GOOD times, when property taxes are flowing in, to SAVE, NOT when money is tight. Taking it from the employees only costs the County more in the long run. My husband and I no longer can afford to shop in Riverside’s malls or restaurants. That means less tax money for Riverside County. Well, at least there are stores to shop where nothing costs more than a dollar. We’re doing ALL our shopping in Grand Terrace, Colton and San Bernardino County. If all Riverisde County employees living near the North end of Riverside did that, THAT would also show the BoS we’re mad as hell and NOT gonna take it ANYMORE !!

  27. Not Tavaglione’s son. It’s Jeff Stone’s son that is a Deputy DA and got the 300 bonus hours of vacation and the other nice perks from Daddy. Thanks Daddy, for giving me such a great career in Riverside County. Just remember how great I am and could make SOOO much more money somewhere else. But, I do it for the people, Daddy. I’m sacraficing for the common folk – just like you do Daddy.