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County Labor Relations Update - April 2023

Author: County Labor Relations Team
Date: 4/26/2023 2:28 PM

In our last update from December 2022, we reflected on the eventful 2022 bargaining year, culminating in new agreements reached with six employee associations and a three-year resolution with unrepresented employees. As we quickly approach the summer season of 2023, Human Resources has several new updates County staff should be aware of in the realm of employee and labor relations.

Scheduled Wage Increases for this June

The following employee associations and unrepresented bargaining units have negotiated wage increases effective the pay period including July 1, 2023:

  • District Attorney Investigators’ Association (BU06) - 2.5% Across the Board Increase

  • Deputy County Counsel Association (BU12) - 2.5% Across the Board Increase
  • San Luis Obispo County Employees’ Association (BU01, 02, 05, & 13) – 3.0% Across the Board Increase
  • San Luis Obispo County Probation Peace Officers’ Association (BU31 & 32) - 1.5% Across the Board Increase
  • San Luis Obispo County Sheriffs Managers’ Association (BU15) – 2.5% Across the Board Increase
  • Unrepresented (BU07, 08, 09, 10, 11 & 16) – 2.5% Across the Board Increase

For additional information, please review the Memorandum of Understanding for your employee association.

We have a new look- check out the updated Labor relations webpages!

The Labor relations webpages have been given a much-needed refresh, featuring information on employee Associations, current Labor Agreements (also known as Memoranda of Understanding or MOU’s)  within the County, and benefits summaries for each employee group, also known as Benefits-At-A-Glance.

The Benefits-At-A-Glance pages are succinct summary pages that outline information on healthcare, leaves, retirement and special pays available to employees in their respective bargaining units and employee associations. Now printable and more accessible, Benefits-At-A-Glance is an excellent resource for both current employees and prospective applicants to better understand available County benefits.

Take a moment and check out your employee association’s Benefits-At-A-Glance page, the new Employee and Labor Relations page, and the new Employee Associations and Labor Agreements page.

Leave adjustment implementation for current SLOCEA-represented employees has been completed

Current employees in SLOCEA-represented classifications are eligible for an adjustment to their vacation accrual rate if they were hired with at least one year of prior similar experience from another public or private employer. Following a multi-step review process, final leave adjustment determinations were made and processed by Payroll with an effective date of 01/22/2023. A big thank you to all the staff members across the County who helped with the implementation process!

Although newly implemented for SLOCEA bargaining units, similar provisions have been negotiated and processed for many other bargaining units within the County. Newly hired employees in all eligible bargaining units are also eligible for the vacation accrual adjustment as well as a sick leave advance of up to 60 hours. 

Bargaining with the San Luis Obispo Prosecutors’ Association (SLOPA) has commenced with opening proposals exchanged

SLOPA represents employees in the Deputy District Attorney job classifications, making up Bargaining Unit 04. The County and SLOPA held their first bargaining session for a successor MOU on April 14 in advance of the end of the current contact term set to expire on June 30, 2023.  Overall, this opening session was productive and informative for both bargaining teams. We will continue to provide updates as needed once negotiations progress.

If you’re unfamiliar with the contract negotiations or are new to the world of labor relations, you likely have additional questions, such as… 

How does the bargaining process begin?

As described in the Lifecycle of Labor Bargaining, the first bargaining session is surprisingly not the first step in the process, but follows weeks of preparation and communication between the County and the employee association.

Prior to the first meeting, both the County and the employee association:

  1. Identify representatives and all bargaining team members
  2. Prepare separately for negotiations in advance by gathering relevant data and identifying bargaining priorities

For more details on the bargaining process as a whole, check out the Lifecycle of Labor Bargaining infogram to learn more!

Thank you for reading!

We want to help County staff stay informed and educated on the state of employee and labor relations here at the County - we hope to keep you engaged as we continue to release updates in future months.