|By Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Contra Costa Times|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
County unions are demanding more generous benefits, and relaxed work rules for their prospective new members, and they hold a powerful card.
If the two sides cannot reach a deal very soon, the state will likely take its call center contract offer elsewhere. The state wants the center leased, equipped, staffed, tested and operational by
The state is paying 100 percent of the call center costs for three years, but it isn't a blank check. The unions want the county to pay 80 percent of the newcomers' health insurance premiums and let employees set their own work hours.
Both run counter to the county's practices and the state may not pay.
Through negotiations, supervisors capped several years ago county contributions to employees' and retirees' premiums at 2011 levels, which shifted all subsequent cost increases onto workers.
Reverting to a percentage split -- 80 percent county, 20 percent employee -- would drive expenses and its unfunded retiree medical care liability back up.
As for letting workers set their own hours, really? Who gets to do that?
The state contract sets out specific operating hours Monday through Saturday and without scheduling authority, the county may
not be able to get the job done.
Unions rarely advocate for unequally compensated groups or unevenly applied work rules, so what's really going on?
It's pure leverage, said Supervisor
"The unions think if we cave in order to get these new jobs, we'll have to give them the same deal in their contracts," she said. "I know our employees are in difficult straits, but what about the people who are unemployed and would be happy to come to work under the same rules as everyone else?"
What kind of jobs are we talking about?
Under the county's salary structure, the 180 entry level customer service agent jobs pay
Surviving in the
But it is unconscionable for the unions to jeopardize new Contra Costa jobs in a risky political strategy at the same time the county is still in the economic woods.
Get the jobs first. Then fight for all your members.
just what I always wanted: Nat, Nat, Nat. You are such a thoughtful guy.
That's Richmond Councilman
He sent constituents a free commemorative presidential inauguration invitation featuring his dapper self and President
Isn't Photoshop grand?
GOT POLITICS? Read PoliticsWithLisaV.blogspot.com:
--Newly minted Assemblyman
--Watch pension reformer
AND FINALLY: Sheriff
The agency needs a more efficient operation center, Undersheriff
No, you don't, responded the committee's two supervisors. They nixed the idea outright.
Rent and other expenses in the new offices would cost the department an additional
"When and if we receive more money, I would rather see it used to hire beat officers," Supervisor
So, John, when the sheriff asks for more deputies during upcoming budget hearings, you can't say you didn't see that coming.
(c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.contracostatimes.com
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