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Statement from SEIU Local 721 President Bob Schoonover on Riverside County Last, Best & Final Offer Imposition

Statement from SEIU Local 721 President Bob Schoonover on Riverside County Last, Best & Final Offer Imposition

“The Riverside County Board of Supervisors’ decision to impose its insulting last, best and final offer on the hardworking public servants of Riverside County is deeply disappointing, but not surprising. It’s par for the course for a board that has spent nearly two years attempting to grind down county workers and county services – no matter how much it hurts our community or how much it costs taxpayers.

Make no mistake, despite the confounding court decision that allowed this imposition to proceed, the systemic issues in Riverside County haven’t gone away. The county is still facing critical staffing shortages and safety issues in our hospitals and more than two dozen unfair labor practice charges that remain to be ruled on.

Imposition is going to hurt Riverside County. In the short term, it’s going to affect everyone that receives county services and the people who provide them. In the long term, it has the potential to embroil the county even deeper into a long and costly legal fight.

This board of supervisors, two of whom won’t even be sitting in the chamber come January, is making a massive gamble at the expense of Riverside County taxpayers. They can impose all they want, but we will still have our day in court.

When the court rules on the outstanding unfair labor practice charges, it could easily invalidate this entire imposition, forcing the County to go back and make every worker affected financially whole – with interest.

Again, this reckless wastefulness is not surprising – it’s what this board does. Breaking laws and wasting money is not in the best interest of Riverside County.

This board gave away $40 million in tax dollars to overseas consulting giant KPMG, with nothing to show for it.

This board wastes millions of dollars a year on contract nurses instead of bringing good, full-time jobs to Riverside County.

This board broke the law during our contract negotiations in 2010 – illegally firing our lead negotiator for union activity. This October, a judge ordered her reinstated and paid six years of backpay, with interest.

The county has spent the better part of two years fighting county workers in court, rather than coming to the table and working out a deal that raises up all of Riverside County.

That legal fight, and the legal fees that come with it, isn’t ending any time soon, and the two outgoing board members are leaving their replacements to clean up the mess.

I have no doubt that those outgoing supervisors will tout their legacy of “fiscal responsibility” and “service to the county,” when their true legacy is illegality and waste – in service of nothing at all.

SEIU 721 does not give up. We will see justice done. Imposition is far from the end of this fight.

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Categories: Riverside County

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Kerry Closson
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Kerry Closson

What does this all mean for all of us hard working Employees?

Joey Aszterbaum
Guest

It means no raise, reducing our already meager step increases, and making us pay for parking. But what it means above all is that we’ve got to get educated and educate our coworkers and start talking about fighting back.

*We* are the union. But we’ve been relying on SEIU employees to do our work for us.

Alton
Guest
Alton

To see the decision in real time was really heartbreaking. If only they had sustained until January.

Joey Aszterbaum
Guest

When will workers wake up and realize that the only power we have is the power to stop working. If SEIU and LIUNA members would walk out en masse, we could shut the whole county down. How long do you think the County would take before negotiating? As it is it takes them months to recruit for positions. They couldn’t replace us.

Mia Jacobs
Member
Mia Jacobs

Sad!!

Mia
Guest
Mia

The RN’s got huge raises today but what about all the other members who pay union dues as well? I mean very happy for them just what about the rest of us!?

Joey Aszterbaum
Guest

And the RN’s may have gotten a raise and yet still have a long-term contract that isn’t worth getting. Whatever happens, County Workers need to stick together, and we especially need to start building solidarity with LIUNA.

I encourage everyone to join this facebook group, Riverside County Workers United: https://www.facebook.com/groups/471181753291686/