UPDATE: Fringe Benefits Negotiations 2018-19
Fringe benefit contract negotiations between the Coalition of County Unions (CCU) and the County of Los Angeles, which have been ongoing for the past 11 months, broke down again on Wednesday, February 20, without an agreement. Click here to see the impact on your paycheck.
What’s the hang up?
CEO negotiators have steadfastly refused to proffer an equitable proposal. Specifically, the CEO is insisting that County employees represented by unions affiliated with the CCU do not deserve the full $1,000 bonus provided to the majority of employees represented by SEIU Local 721 as well as to ALL non-represented employees (including CEO Sachi Hamai and all five County Supervisors and their staff). The cost to treat County employees fairly and equitably is just .04% of the County’s total budget.
So why are these negotiations so difficult this year?
According to County negotiators, in order to come into compliance with the law as clarified in the case Flores vs. City of San Gabriel (click here to learn more about the case), the County needs to drastically reduce the amount of money employees take home as income from the Choices Plan (the unspent benefits allowance). For some, this amount is more than $600 per month. The County’s strategy is to transfer money from the Choices Plan into wages by reducing the amount of money provided for benefits AND implementing progressive caps on what can be taken home as taxable cash. The pattern was set when SEIU Local 721 agreed to the benefit reductions in exchange for 3.75% “sustainability increases” and a $1,000 bonus back in September.
Where are we?
For months the CEO refused to match the SEIU Local 721 deal and the CCU steadfastly demanded equity. As of our last session on February 20, the CEO finally lifted their proposal in all areas – but talks broke down when they refused to match the $1,000 bonus (only offering $500).
Our solid position is that the County’s proposal is inequitable and punitive, negatively impacting 28,000 fire fighters, doctors, engineers, appraisers, probation officers, deputy sheriffs, building and construction trades workers, and more. We will NOT back down.
Find out how the CEO's fringe benefit proposal impacts you! Click here