After more than a year of bargaining, the Coalition of County Unions (CCU) has reached a Tentative Agreement (T/A) with the County of Los Angeles on a successor Fringe Benefit Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This round of negotiations was particularly challenging because of the County’s mandate to lessen liability associated with the Flores v. City of San Gabriel (9th Cir. 2016) case, specifically by reducing the cash back members received from the Choices plan.
After months at the bargaining table the CCU and the County largely agreed on a road map to resolve the issues raised by the Flores case, which included progressive caps on cash back from the Choices plan and lower than normal medical contributions in exchange for “sustainability bonuses” to offset the loss in taxable cash. However, the CCU steadfastly refused to accept the County’s inequitable offer of a $500 bonus when most SEIU Local 721 members – and all non-represented employees – had received a $1,000 bonus.
After face-to-face meetings with members of the Board of Supervisors, the Coalition ultimately was able to reach an equitable agreement that included a $500 bonus, a full paid holiday (8 hours), and an early implementation of the 2nd year increase to health contributions!
Changes to the Choices Plan
7/1/19: +1.5% increase to Choices Contribution
11/1/19: +2.0% increase to Choices Contribution
1/1/20: $325 cap on cash-in-lieu take home pay
1/1/21: +2.5% increase to Choices Contribution
1/1/21: $244 cap on cash-in-lieu take home pay
Sustainability Bonus & Step
Within 60 days of Board approval:
- 8 hours of leave (holiday time)
(Note: $500 one-time bonus and 8-hour holiday to be credited within 60 days of contract approval; CIR members will receive an extra 8 hours added to their 192 Post Graduate Time Off for a total of 200 hours.)
1/1/20 +1% “Sustainability Bonus”
1/1/21 +2.75% “Sustainability ½ Step”
(Note: To be awarded only to top step employees who have completed 12 or more months in that final step of the salary range. Each bargaining unit has unique requirements, e.g. ALADS top step is defined as steps 6 or 7 for one year prior to 1/1/21.)
Additionally, the labor-management Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (EBAC) will collaboratively explore solutions to the anticipated gap between the negotiated Choices contribution and the cost of employee benefits.
***Contact Your Union for More Details***