2019 - 2023 ESCMemorandum of Understanding: Article 20: Miscellaneous Provisions
What’s on this Page
- 20.1 Availability and Accessibility of Memorandum
- 20.2 Auto Direct Deposit
- 20.3 Special Event and Emergency Response Program Assignments
- 20.4 Lyme Disease Testing
- 20.5 Layoff and Placement Policy
- 20.6 Labor / Management Advisory Committees and Joint Labor Management Benefits Committee (JLMBC)
- 20.7 Retirement Program
20.1 Availability and Accessibility of Memorandum
The County will ensure that this Memorandum will be available and accessible to all employees in the bargaining unit on-line at the County’s inter-net and intra-net sites.
20.2 Auto Direct Deposit
The County will make a deposit of employee’s pay checks directly to the employee’s account at their designated financial institution. The effective date of deposit will be one day after the regularly scheduled date of payroll issue. Employees may request a printed paycheck due to a hardship or other extenuating circumstances (e.g. identity theft, change in financial institutions, domestic violence situations, etc.)
Printed pay stubs will not automatically be provided.Pay stub information can be found bi-weekly in the self-service feature of the HRMS system where print and/or save functions are available.
Members who leave County employment for reasons other than retirement will be able to access their on-line pay check information for a period of two months following their date of separation.
20.3 Special Event and Emergency Response Program Assignments
Special Events Assignment
The Department of Health Services will use a voluntary selection system, based upon employees continuous service with the County, when assigning employees in the classes of Environmental Health Specialist Trainee I, II, III and Dairy Inspector to inspection of food facilities for weekend or holiday special events. Management of the Department of Health Services may deny an employee’s request for an assignment due to an employee’s qualifications to perform a particular assignment. A denial based upon an employee’s qualifications may be grieved by the affected employee to the Third Step of this Memorandum the grievance procedure for a final binding decision by the department head. A request may also be denied where the department determines that such a request will result in excessive overtime or mileage costs. For the purpose of this Section “excessive” shall mean only round trip travel in excess of one hour or sixty (60) miles.
20.4 Lyme Disease Testing
An employee who undergoes a test for Lyme disease will be reimbursed by the County for the portion of the test costs not reimbursed by the employee’s health plan under Article 9. The employee must submit a claim for such reimbursement to the County’s Risk Manager with appropriate supporting documentation.
Testing for Lyme disease following exposure arising out of and occurring in the course of employment may be covered under the County’s Workers’ Compensation Program. Please see the County’s Workers Compensation Program for testing coverage details.
20.5 Layoff and Placement Policy
An employee may be laid off from his or her job class and regular County service three (3) weeks (21 calendar days) after formal written notice has been presented or mailed to the employee at his or her last known address with a copy to the Union. The County recognizes its obligation to pay all compensation due and owing to an employee upon termination.
- Job Placement
Prior to layoff, the County shall attempt to place employees in a vacant position. The employee must have received formal layoff notice and requested reassignment to another department and/or position. Attempted placement shall be conducted in accordance with the County’s Civil Service Rules. Job placement under this article shall not be grievable or arbitrable under this MOU, but may be appealed to the Director of Human Resources for review.
The County shall work with Job Link to offer job training resources to employees about to be laid off.
- Severance Period
An employee who has received a formal written layoff notice, and who is unable to displace another County employee or secure other regular County employment, may separate from County service fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the effective date of the layoff and receive his or her normal base salary for the hours he or she would normally be scheduled to work during that fourteen (14) day period.
- Medical Coverage
For employees who continue to be laid off from County service, the County will make its usual medical insurance contribution for the first six (6) pay periods following layoff and one-half its usual contribution for the next six (6) pay periods following layoff. Eligible employees will be offered the opportunity to continue coverage through COBRA. If/when this medical severance is offered concurrently with COBRA continuation coverage, the eighteen (18) month COBRA continuation period shall be extended by each month of medical severance coverage to a maximum of twenty-four (24) total months.
- Salary Preservation
May be a subject for consideration by the County but shall not be a mandatory subject of bargaining.
- Early Retirement
Early retirement credit in lieu of layoff is not subject to Article 17 of this MOU.
20.6 Labor / Management Advisory Committees and Joint Labor Management Benefits Committee (JLMBC)
- Interest Based Bargaining
- The parties may agree to participate jointly in “Interest Bargaining” training sessions with a mutually agreed upon facilitator. The County shall provide appropriate release time for selected committee members during the term of this agreement subject to operational needs of the Department. The County wide training fund shall pay half of the training cost with remaining funding coming from individual employee professional development or personal funds.
- It is the intent of the parties to incorporate interest bargaining concepts into future labor / management negotiations.
- This Article is not grievable nor arbitrable under this contract grievance procedure.
- Labor / Management Advisory Committees
- ESC shall have the opportunity to participate on existing and future Labor / Management Advisory Committees in County Departments who have ESC members. In consideration for the dissolution of the Department of Health Services Labor Management Advisory Committee, the County and the Union shall establish an ESC County-Wide Labor / Management Advisory Committee including ESC members and managers from County Departments and Divisions where ESC members work. Within 60 days from the date of Board approval of this MOU, the number of committee members and alternates will be agreed upon by the County Director of Labor Relations or their designee and the Union Field Representative and/or other Union representatives. The parties will also draft a Committee Charter.
- A member of the staff of the Human Resources Department or any committee member trained in facilitation or group problem-solving may serve as a facilitator. By mutual agreement the parties may also utilize the service of an outside facilitator with the department and the labor organizations sharing the outside facilitator’s fee.
- Labor / Management Advisory Committee meetings held during the employees regularly scheduled work time shall be deemed time worked for compensation purposes.
- The ESC County-Wide Labor/Management Advisory Committee may consider, review, discuss and make recommendations on a variety of issues of mutual concern. The Committee is encouraged to brainstorm possible issues and problems, prioritize the possible issues in general order of importance, and select high priority issues of mutual interest to review. In reviewing the issues, the Committee is encouraged to define the issue carefully, study and evaluate the most promising solutions, and make a recommendation with supporting documentation to the relevant Department Head with a copy to the Director of Human Resources and the Union Field Representative. By mutual agreement, the Committee may also review and discuss (but not negotiate) matters impacting the collective bargaining agreement and/or within the scope of bargaining such as premiums, fringe benefits, caseload and working hours. The parties agree that the LMC agenda shall have time specifically reserved for staff to have the opportunity to provide feedback regarding contractor performance twice a year, or more if mutually agreed.
- The Department Head shall evaluate proposed solutions, make a decision on the committee’s recommendation and report back his/her decisions. The committee may make an oral presentation as well as their written report and recommendation to the department head.
- Departments must fund any recommended changes through the existing budget process or through cooperative efforts of the department Labor / Management Advisory committee in seeking and locating funding for changes through other sources. The decisions of the department head shall not be precedent nor bind the County or other County departments. The County-wide Labor / Management committee shall publicize the positive results of department committee recommendations.
- The committees may be continued, modified, or expanded by mutual agreement of the participants. At the request of either party, Labor/Management Advisory Committees may be evaluated.
- Joint Labor Management Benefits Committee (JLMBC)
ESC shall have the opportunity to participate on the Joint Labor / Management Benefits Committees (JLMBC). ESC shall be represented by up to three (3) members and/or the Field Representative or designee.
20.7 Retirement Program
20.7.1 Retirement – Employees Hired On or Before December 31, 2012 And Employees Hired On or After January 1, 2013 With Pension Reciprocity
This Section 20.7.1 (including subsections) shall apply to (1) employees hired on or before December 31, 2012 who are contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA) and (2) employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 who become contributing members of SCERA and who qualify for pension reciprocity pursuant to Government Code Section 7522.02(c).
188.8.131.52 Final Compensation Based On Single Year
For purposes of determining a retirement benefit, final compensation for employees covered by this Section 20.7.1 shall mean the average annual compensation earnable by the member as specified in Government Code Section 31462.1.
184.108.40.206 3% @ 60 Pension Formula
The 3.0% at 60 pension formula shall be available to employees covered by this Section 20.7.1 who are contributing members of the SCERA.
220.127.116.11 Required Employee Contribution
SCERA members covered by this Section 20.7.1 will contribute the amount required by SCERA as employee contributions, and shall continue to pay an additional 3.03% of pay, pretax, to their employee retirement account. This 3.03% of pay contribution of the employee’s pensionable compensation is intended to defray the cost of the retirement plan’s unfunded accrued actuarial liability. This additional 3.03% contribution will continue unless modified by mutual agreement between the County and ESC. Employees also will continue to pay a pretax statutory contribution of approximately 1% or slightly more, contingent upon age of entry into the retirement system.
18.104.22.168 Pension Cost Sharing (With Offset)
Effective as soon as administratively feasible, and subject to Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA) Board approval of the cost share arrangement under the terms described herein, active County General legacy members of SCERA will contribute one third of the actuarially determined difference between the average General legacy employee retirement rate (exclusive of the 3.03% payroll contribution toward the UAAL described in Section 22.214.171.124 of the MOU) and one half the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares) calculated as an average for General legacy Members of SCERA covered by this Section 20.7.1 based on rates of all active County General legacy members, with the difference computed to a factor and applied equally to all legacy members. Such legacy employees will receive a lump sum benefit allowance as reimbursement for this pension cost share arrangement each pay period equal to the dollar value of the deduction described in this paragraph, less any required taxes.
Effective the first full pay period following July 1, 2017, and subject to Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA) Board approval of the cost share arrangement under the terms described herein, active County General legacy members of SCERA will contribute an additional one third (for a total of two thirds) of the actuarially determined difference between the average General legacy employee retirement rate (exclusive of the 3.03% payroll contribution toward the UAAL described in Section 126.96.36.199 of the MOU) and one half the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares) calculated as an average for General legacy Members of SCERA covered by this Section 20.7.1 based on rates of all active County General legacy members, with the difference computed to a factor and applied equally to all legacy members. Such legacy employees will receive a lump sum benefit allowance as reimbursement for this pension cost share arrangement each pay period equal to the dollar value of the deduction described in this paragraph, less any required taxes.
The lump sum benefit allowance described above will not be included in wages for computations of overtime, pension, benefits, or any County benefit related purposed. The parties acknowledge that the negotiated cost share arrangement is subject to the approval of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (SCERA) Board. In the event SCERA does not accept the purpose of the lump sum benefit as described herein, if SCERA deems the benefit allowance as pensionable compensation, or if SCERA does not accept the cost share arrangement, or if the pension reimbursement is determined to be taxable beyond FICA and Medicare taxation, the parties agree that this provision shall cease to be implemented and the parties will reopen this section of the contract to meet and confer on a replacement pension cost share arrangement, subject to mutual agreement of the parties.
If, at any time in the future, the Union withdraws agreement with this cost sharing agreement, effective on the date of the elimination of the cost sharing, County contributions put in place as a result of this agreement shall cease.
20.7.2 Retirement – Employees Hired On or After January 1, 2013
This Section 20.7.2 (including subsections) shall apply to employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, who are or become contributing members of the SCERA and who do not qualify for pension reciprocity pursuant to Government Code Section 7522.02(c).
Final Compensation Based on Three Year Average
As required by Government Code Section 7522.32, effective January 1, 2013, for the purposes of determining a retirement benefit for SCERA members covered by this Section 20.7.2, final compensation shall mean the highest average annual pensionable compensation earned during 36 consecutive months of service.
2% @ 62 Pension Formula
As required by Government Code Section 7522.20, the 2.0% at 62 pension formula shall be available to employees covered by this Section 20.7.2 who are contributing members of the SCERA.
188.8.131.52 Required Employee Contributions
As required by Government Code Section 7522.04(g), SCERA members covered by this Section 20.7.2 shall pay 50% of normal costs. In addition, SCERA members covered by this Section 20.7.2 shall pay 3.03% of the employee’s pensionable compensation toward the County’s employer contribution to retirement costs. This additional 3.03% contribution shall end with the last pay period in June 2024.
20.7.3 Retirement – Credit for Prior Public Service
In addition to any other retirement buyback provision authorized by law and applicable rules of SCERA, employees who are contributing members of SCERA can purchase retirement credit for public service time rendered prior to employment with the County of Sonoma to the extent allowed by Government Code Sections 7522.46, 31641.1 and 31641.2 and other provisions of law, during the term of this MOU.