Local 620 staff continues to work hard in support of the members that we represent and working people in general. 2019 looks like it will be another challenging year for labor and the members that Local 620 represent. We are continuing to work on attacks on our pensions, employer’s continued failure to provide adequate growth at the bargaining table to keep up with inflation and employers lack of adhering to the provisions of our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) / Civil Service Rules.
Recently it was found that some county departments were not keeping up with required step increases. It is common for supervisors and managers not fulfil their responsibility to provide timely EPRs (evaluations) and if an employee is stepped out it does not seriously impact those employees. In fact, it is the Local’s point of view that if the supervisor is not performing their duty to provide the EPRs timely then said employee must be working at satisfactory or better level. If at a later date the employer wishes to raise issue with performance of the employee, then the Local uses the lack of timely EPRs as a defense to any employer’s claims that the employee is not working at a satisfactory level.
But when wages or steps are involved then we need to be observant of the situation and make sure that our supervisor are performing their responsivity to provide the necessary documentation so that we can receive our step increases. Several of our jurisdictions provide the negotiated step increases even when the supervisor has failed to their job, the County of Santa Barbara is not one of those employers. If you feel that you are one of our members who did not receive their adjustments correctly then you need to contact your union representative so that we can request an audit of your personnel file to verify you are being compensated correctly.
Members of all labor organizations need to be active in 1919 in our common goal to fight unnecessary changes to our pensions that will continue to drive our retirees further into the poverty level. In 2018 we are worked with the Governor in support of maintaining our member’s vesting rights throughout their public service career and in 2019 we are already working with the new governor on the same and similar issues.
Budget season is quickly approaching and our members / staff needs to be observant of upcoming Budget Workshops in preparation of Budget Hearings that typically occur in May and June. Our elected Supervisors and Council Members utilize these workshops to develop the plan or parameters of the successor’s year financial strategy which includes salary increases for staff. Often we go to the bargaining table with the parameters already set and then we are forced to fight for adjustments to their approved budget or settle for what they budgeted for. Many workshops are open to the public and members / staff need to uses these workshops to our advantage by attending these meetings and letting our elected leaders know that they need to address their most important resource, which is their staff.
Many of our members may not realize the amount of work that bargaining team members and active members put in yearly dealing with bargaining. At almost every table management are taking advantage of the current economic climate or their approved budget to reduce wage increases and to hold our benefits at current levels even when we have experienced an annual 3.7% CPI increase reported in January of 2018 (we are still waiting on the January 2019 report at the time this article was being wrote). Members across the central coast that we represent took a hard line to achieve some victories at every table last year. The biggest impact to current and future members was with retirement formulas, adequate salary increases (COLAs) and employee pick-up of retirement.
Local 620 is dedicated to providing meaningful, quality service to our members and our communities. We look forward to involvement and interaction with members both in a group setting and one on one. We value your constructive input, suggestions and we encourage you to participate in your Union.
Bruce Corsaw, Executive Director