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Sunset at Grover Beach. Photo by Alex Caballero Sr.
Photo by Alex Caballero Sr.

County Reaches Labor Deal with Largest Employee Union

Author: Human Resources
Date: 1/15/2020 5:38:03 PM

The County and SLOCEA have two separate agreements, one for what is known as the “Big Unit” (1,545 employees) and the other for what is know as the “Trades Unit” (182 employees).

The County of San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors approved a three-year agreement with the County’s largest employee union, San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (SLOCEA), on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

The agreement includes wage increases over the next three years, a $500 payment this year to offset pension and health care costs, a cap on employees’ share of pension increases, and a change to call-back pay for employees who work remotely between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6:59 a.m.

“Our employees do incredible work for the people of San Luis Obispo County and we’re happy to have found an agreeable solution to compensation and benefits,” said County Human Resources Director Tami Douglas-Schatz. “We are trying to balance what the County can afford with providing competitive salary and benefits to attract and maintain a high-performing workforce.”

The annual ongoing cost to the County will be upwards of $12 million, which will be funded through a combination of departmental savings, General Fund contingencies, and reserves.

The County and SLOCEA have two separate agreements, one for what is known as the “Big Unit” (1,545 employees) and the other for what is known as the “Trades Unit” (182 employees).

The County and SLOCEA resumed negotiations for a successor agreement on April 8, 2019 after the first SLOCEA-represented employee strike in County history. Nearly half of the articles in the prior agreements were discussed during 15 negotiation sessions. Discussions covered employee compensation, what was imposed by the County in 2018, and key issues around management and union rights. After approximately eight months of negotiations, the County and SLOCEA reached a new tentative agreement for a successor MOU on December 4, 2019. SLOCEA notified the County that the membership successfully ratified the agreement on January 2, 2020.