The bargaining teams picked up where we left off the last session, trying to come to agreement on a package proposal that includes Articles 2, 5, 21 and 22 and Addenda H and J (for a summary of the proposals, please see the July 2 update at the union website, afscmelocal88.org).
The biggest sticking point has been around the union’s proposal that there be an internal hiring process before outside applicants are considered. We were unable to reach agreement on any substantial change to the language so our team presented a package proposal that deleted the internal hiring piece and instead proposed that the five most senior employees who want to transfer would be guaranteed an interview (the current language allows for three). We also added a proposal on Article 15 to the package, which would require the county to offer temporary vacancies as work out of class opportunities before filling them with temps. In addition, we offered to drop our proposed changes to Article 20 and Addendum B if there was agreement on the entire package.
Management responded with a package that agreed to the change in the transfer language, but not the work out of class piece. It also added our proposal on Addendum G and a modified version of our proposal on Addendum I, which agreed to only one of the four sections we wanted to see changed.
The day ended with our team telling management that we could not agree to their package proposal, because although we are in agreement on many parts of it, the work out of class issue is very important to us and we need to keep it on the table.
We meet again on Wednesday, August 6. Hopefully on that day we can find a path to agreement on these articles so we can move on to the financial proposals, including health care and the COLA.