Bargaining Update 9/2/2022

General Unit Bargaining Update

Informational picket flyer 9 2022

Our fight for a fair contract with strong Cost of Living Wage Adjustments (COLA) continues. Yesterday our Union Bargaining Team and the County Bargaining Team exchanged comprehensive proposals that moved closer to a settlement. However, major issues still need to be resolved including COLA adjustments in each year of the contract, Indigenous People’s Day, bilingual pay and other pay differentials, mandatory overtime, safe working conditions and emergency and trauma leave. 

We’re taking our fight for a strong union contract public! 

Please join us for informational picketing on the following dates and locations. Informational picketing is not a strike but a great opportunity for a public statement. By forming picket lines, chanting, and providing information to the public, we all have the opportunity to back up our bargaining team’s message publicly. We will have lunch and will attempt to provide AFSCME t-shirts for all those who attend. Please remember to attend on your meal period or non-working time.

Informational Picketing For A Fair Contract

  • TUESDAY, Sept. 6 from Noon-1:30pm – Mid-County Health Clinic
  • WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 from Noon-1:30pm – East County Health/DCHS offices
  • FRIDAY, Sept. 9 from Noon-1:30pm – Northeast Health/Walnut Park Complex

2022 Contract Negotiations: What are we fighting for?

Safe workplaces and community spaces

Our members have reported frequent and ongoing issues that impact their safety at work. This covers everything from hazardous working conditions for those performing physical work or manual labor, to violence in the workplace or on the job. We want a clear standard that management is responsible for providing safe working conditions and a process for a worker to decline an assignment that puts them or others in imminent danger.

Protections against mandatory overtime

The County wants to give managers greater authority to mandate overtime but without additional compensation or consideration for workers and their families. We are seeking to maintain our current contract language on mandatory overtime assignments and proposing that the County pay double-time for any mandated overtime.

Wage increases that actually account for the cost of living

 We are seeking COLA that supports workers who are experiencing the stifling effects of inflation. The increases
we see in prices has meant a reduction in our real wages. We see this every time we go to the grocery store, pay for child care, fill our gas tank to get to work, or to take care of other living expenses.

Indigenous Peoples Day

We are seeking to add Indigenous People’s Day as a recognized holiday to honor the people who work for and are served by the County who identify as Indigenous. It is also an important step to aligning the work of the County to better support Indigenous communities.

Protecting our paychecks from County wage deductions

We proposed that the County be prohibited from making any payroll deductions for overpayments without an employee’s written authorization. Our experience since the implementation of Workday in 2019 and over the course of the COVID pandemic has made it clear that the County either doesn’t
have the capacity or the willingness to avoid continuous or widespread pay errors, nor do they have the systems in place to handle these situations compassionately or transparently on a consistent basis.

Fair compensation for bilingual Workers

All too often, the County forces bilingual employees to jump through multiple hoops to be paid fairly for their labor. If an employee is using their bilingual skills on a routine basis in their job, that is all that should be necessary for workers to receive the pay premium.

Leave policies that support equity

The County’s current leave policies don’t provide support for workers who have experienced trauma as a result of their work at the County or support workers who experience greater complications and leave demands because their families live abroad. We are proposing paid leave for workers in these circumstances.

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