Greetings AFSCME Local 88 Members:
The Local 88 bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the County for a new contract. We believe this is the best agreement we can get at this time and recommend a yes vote for ratification of the tentative agreement.
Although there were certainly economic and contract language proposals we tried to include in this agreement, we simply could not move the County beyond what you see here.
If Local 88 members vote to ratify this agreement, the next step will be for the Board of Commissioners to ratify. That should occur in November. If Local 88 members vote this agreement down, the bargaining teams would return to negotiations. It would be very difficult to make significant improvements without moving toward and/or going to strike.
Thank you to all members who took part in actions such as the post card to the commissioners, green Wednesdays and the rally. Although those actions may not have resulted in the outcome you hoped for, they did strengthen us as a local.
Please review the information below regarding the tentative agreement prior to voting.
Summary of Changes Negotiated to the Local 88 Contract • November, 2014
Article 2 – Definitions
The initial (new hire) probationary period cannot be extended unless the employee has been absent for 3 or more months during their first year.
Article 5 – Union Security, Representation & Business
The County will provide the union with a monthly accounting of temp hours worked and a list of who has retired form Local 88 jobs.
Employees who sign up for union membership must maintain their membership for at least the first year of the contract. Every year, starting on the anniversary date of ratification, there will be a 5-day window period during which a member can opt to go Fair Share. Those who wish to continue their membership do not need to take any action; memberships will not lapse.
Article 10 – Other Leaves
The county will provide an explanation for what duties make a position essential when the County is declared closed due to a weather event or other emergency.
Article 11 – Health & Welfare
The health care plans and cost sharing remain the same for the time being, but there will be a re-opener available starting January 1, 2016 if either party wishes to initiate bargaining on that topic. This re-opener allows us to maintain the best level of benefits possible as the Affordable Care Act gets implemented.
Article 14 – Compensation
The COLA will be a 2.7% increase, retroactive to July 1 of this year. We anticipate the retro money will not show up in paychecks until January. The COLA in Years 2 & 3 in this contract will be equal to the Consumer Price Index as management did not move off the position and we could not get the additional 1%. Minimum COLA is 1%, maximum COLA is 4%.
A minimum wage of $15 an hour for the county’s lowest-paid workers. This will be phased in over three years, with the minimum raised to $13 an hour in 2014 (retroactive to July 1), $14 on July 1, 2015 and $15 an hour on July 1, 2016. This increase would apply to any classification that currently has steps below $13 an hour.
Facility Security Officers and Corrections Technicians will be included in the biennial compensation bargaining, with any negotiated increase being retroactive to July 1 of this year.
Article 15 – Classifications & Pay Ranges
Special pay adjustments may be made to maintain equity within a unit or department. This may occur when a new employee is hired at a higher step than veteran employees who are doing the same work; in that case the other employees’ pay may be increased to match the new hire. If a pay adjustment is granted to the same classification in the same work unit more than once in a 12-month period, management shall initiate a compensation study for that classification.
When the County uses a temporary employee rather than offering a work out of class opportunity, they must, upon request, provide an explanation for why a temp was used.
Article 21 – Seniority & Layoff
Those who are out on unpaid status for more than 30 days due to a FMLA or OFLA condition shall not lose seniority. This is not retroactive, it becomes effective at the time of ratification.
Laid off employees may receive an offer of recall by email or certified letter. Those who are offered recall must respond within 7 days of receiving the offer of recall.
Article 22 – Shift & Work Assignment
Training positions may be created for up to 24 months. To be eligible, an employee must not have received discipline in the previous 2 years or have negative marks on the previous year’s evaluation.
When a transfer opportunity becomes available, those on the applicable transfer list will be notified and the 5 most senior qualified employees who are interested are guaranteed an interview.
Addendum F – Dept. of Library Services
To the extent permitted by law, the $15 minimum wage language will remain in effect if the Library employees are transferred to an independent Library district.
All Pages will be reclassified to the Access Services Assistant classification no later than July 1, 2016.
No employee who is a Library Clerk at the time of ratification will be reclassified to a lower classification except by mutual agreement.
An ad hoc labor-management committee will be created specifically to address the issues concerning the implementation of the minimum wage and the Access Services Assistant classification as well as the reclassification of Library Pages. The committee shall have 8 members from the union and 8 from management and shall convene within 90 days after the ratification of the contract.
Addendum G – Dept. of Community Justice
Employees in DCJ’s Recog unit will follow the Sheriff’s Office method of determining days of rest for purposes of overtime and double-time.
Addendum H – Drug & Alcohol Policy
It is a violation of the drug & alcohol policy for employees to solicit drugs or alcohol while on the job or while on County premises. Employees may be required to undergo a D& A assessment regardless of whether discipline has been issued or a last chance agreement has been entered into. Violation of a last chance agreement can lead to termination without a pre-termination hearing, but the employee retains the right to grieve the termination.
Addendum I – Office of the Sheriff
Memorializes the Sheriff’s Office method for determining days of work and days of rest for purposes of overtime and double-time.
Addendum J- School-Based Employees
School-based employees who work a 10-month year will not lose seniority during their summer layoff. They will also receive benefits as a full-time employee provided they begin layoff after June 15 and work at least 2 shifts from July 16 to July 31 and either work 2 shifts from August 16 to August 31 or return before September 1.