Bargaining Update for July 2, 2014
At Wednesday’s bargaining session management offered a package proposal on some of the less-contentious articles we are negotiating. The idea is to reach agreement in several areas at once and move them off the table so we can focus on the tougher proposals, which mostly involve money.
A package proposal is an “all or nothing” offer at contains several articles, and mixes together some things the union wants along things that the county wants. If the other side disagrees with anything in the package then the offer is voided. The county’s package included the following terms. Portions that were originally proposed by the union are designated as “(U)” and those proposed by the county are designated “(MC).”
Article 2 – Reduce the probation extension from 6 months of absence to 3 months, meaning if a newly-hired employee is out for up to 3 months during the one-year probation, then 3 months are added on to the probation. (MC)
Article 5 – The county will provide the union with a monthly report of how many hours on-calls have worked and also a report of who has retired in the past month. The union’s maintenance of membership language would be incorporated. (U)
Article 21 – If an employee is out for more than 30 days under FLMA or OFLA, that time will not be deducted from their seniority. (U) Reduce from 14 days to 7 days the time a laid off employee has to respond to a notice of recall. (MC) Form a work group to look at including county-wide seniority in the ti-breaking process for those who have the same classification seniority. (MC)
Article 22 – Incorporate the language from of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for trainee program of up to 24 months. Upon successful completion of the program the trainee would be promoted into the classification they’ve been training in. (U/MC)
Addendum H – make it a violation of the drug & alcohol policy for an employee to solicit drugs or alcohol during working hours. (MC) The county would not be required order an assessment if an employee has violated the policy. (MC) If an employee is on a last chance agreement and violates the policy again, the county could terminate the employee without holding a pre-termination meeting. (MC) The employee would retain the right to file a grievance. (U)
Addendum J – Incorporate the language of an MOA that preserves the seniority of school-based employees who work a ten-month year. Incorporate an MOA that preserves the health care coverage of the school-based employees. Incorporate the language of an MOA dealing with lateral transfers of employees in DCHS. (U/MC)
The Local 88 team was willing to agree to most of what the county was offering, but we noticed that the deal didn’t include language that we had proposed that would require the county to fill positions by conducting an internal-only recruitment before having an external recruitment. We knew this was a big ask and that it would be difficult to get agreement on it, so we offered a counter-proposal that agreed to the terms listed above, and added that any county applicant who is qualified would be entitled to an interview.
The county was not willing to agree to this, mainly due to the complications it would create with existing civil service rules. However they committed to the continuing discussion on this issue and trying to come up with something that would work for both sides.
We also responded to the management proposal on health care, which was independent of the package proposal. Our proposal does not change any of the current plans or premium percentages; instead it is an attempt to create a way for the two sides to bargain on health care as changes from the Affordable Care Act are phased in.
Our next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23.