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County And Labor Coalition Reach New Contract Settlement

Contract proposal cuts pay by 2.75 percent, helps with health care costs and provides three extra days off.

By Bay City News Service

After almost eight months of negotiations, Contra Costa County and representatives of a labor coalition have reached a tentative agreement for a new contract.

Under the agreement, reached Monday between the board and a labor coalition representing some 4,000 county employees, workers would see their pay cut by 2.75 cut instead of the 3.2 percent outlined in what the board had called its "last, best and final offer."

Negotiators reached the agreement Monday evening after four days of bargaining that included a "marathon session on Saturday that went past midnight," county spokeswoman Betsy Burkhart said.

Labor coalition spokesman Rollie Katz said that while the outcome of the talks is far from ideal, union representatives generally agree that it's better than the county's previous proposal.

"It's the best we can do under terrible circumstances," he said. "It's better than what we were facing."

Under the county's previous offer, the unionized workers would have faced an immediate 3.2 percent pay decrease. Now, the 2.75 percent cut will take effect in July.

In addition, the county has agreed to pay two $500 bonuses -- the first in May 2012 and the second in May 2013 -- that should help workers defray out-of-pocket health care costs, Katz said.

The new contract also gives unionized employees three extra paid holidays, he said.

The workers will still be required to pay all increases in health care costs, a major sticking point during negotiations.

The contract needs to be ratified by all five unions that make up the labor coalition. The Board of Supervisors will then vote on the tentative agreement in January.

Cheryll December 15, 2011 at 02:46 PM
It's a crock. All the other employees of CCC got agreeements where the COUNTY PAYS 80 to 90% of all Health Care increases and the LOW INCOME employees are being TOLD to pay 100% of all increases! That is economic injustice PLAIN & SIMPLE! The $500 per yr for 2 years is a cash payout that will get taxed and end up being about $300! For low income families that will be out of pocket THOUSANDS of $! The only reason they wanted to IMPOSE thier contract (before the end of December is because of a new law that would take place in January 2012 that would set into place some parrameters for workign together for resolution if the 2 parties feel they have reached an impasse. The County decided that they are not willing to be subject to such laws, not prepared to be transparent, don't stand behind the same principles they require of thier employees and volunteers to uphold Brown Act, Roberts Rules, Open Meetings, and transparency in government. This is Tea Party economics on the backs of poor people and Wisconsin has already gone down this road. Now we have a road MAP!
tony December 19, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Charyll, It is so obvious that you are part of a tax and spend mentality. I suggest you study a bit of history, we need to learn from it. The Roman empire fell when more people were on the payroll than were paying into it. Your presidents decision to spend way beyond our means set a stage for your children in the future to eat Skippy dog food instead of meatloaf. But then again you are probably eating organic and free range chickens.
Cheryll December 19, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Tony: Apparently history isn't your strong suit. Pres. Obama didn't get us to where we are, he inherited this mess from a couple of administrations who actually refused to look at the deficit, because "it doesn't matter" in thier very own words. Please try to focus on the situation mentioned above. This county does NOT have a deficit and the low income employees I mentioned have been GIVING UP wage increases for 10 years while the cost of living sky rockets. That means we are under paid but you get the benefit of these many services still. And please shut up about food. I am not eating nearly as well as you seem to think and neither are my children! And I have never even SEEN a free range chicken much less eaten one. The only Empire around here exists of households that sit quite comfortably above all this clamor, happy to cause as much disfuntion as you are willing to raise for them.
tony December 19, 2011 at 07:22 PM
It is apparent that you know nothing of history Cheryll. Your visionary leader has NEVER had a real job, is a highly unsuccessful politician......winng an election does not mean you are successful. HE has spent YOUR children's future. Perhaps someday if you understand the history you are living through you will understand it and be able to explain it to them, and add in a couple of apologies for your naivety. You are the typical Cocktail Liberal who supports noble causes until it affect "their" world. You will see.
Cheryll January 09, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Your insults and & lack of correct information are more than I plan to debate. Have a nice (albeit twisted) life.
Cheryll January 09, 2012 at 01:48 AM
And please don't bother to ask for any County services from any completely underpaid County employees. We have lost our sence of humor along with 10% of our already low incomes!! (I know you will jab about over paid employees, of which MANY of us are not, and WE are the ones that should NOT have been attacked by people like you or our lying Board of Supervisors.)
tony January 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Cheryl, You are misinformed, I too was a county worker for 34 1/2 years. I know that it is tough times for all government workers at this time. I remember as the dot com world flourished many of my friends ridiculed staying in a much lower paid section of the work world. Now years later they take from that, like gov't workers are the selfish ones. Far from the truth. I also do not like waste and feel the current direction of gov't spending exemplifies such. Please do not think I do not fully support and understand the plight of gov't works, I do.
Cheryll January 10, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I am certainly not "misinformed". (About what? Our loss of sence of humor during these horrible times? Thats verifiable. Or that Obama is NOT responsible for todays economy or mess-which he CLEARLY is NOT) I know exactly what I make, what I do, and how much I do not waste of taxpayer money. Your "support" should be to stop your Board of Supervisors from wasteful spending, and tell them that taking money from poor workers is WRONG. Try talking to Federal Glover about his 1/2 million $ office revamp while they took money off the tables of employees who support thier families on less than 30,000 $ a year. Then I will believe you "support" employees. The "direction" of government spending is an awfully broad statement. But in a nut shell, you can pay people to sit at desks performing thier work to support thier communities or you can pay them welfare and unemployment. You pick. And Obama is bringing the troops homw so unecessry spending for military troops oversees is ebing cut to the bone-and your prior administrations just threw trillions of taxpayer $ without a clew of how to pay for that. so there ya go. Keep blaming all the wrong people so blame can be the game instead of REAL solutions. Like fair pay and govt officials held accountable for local overspending, which is what this article is about, not Obama.

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