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Human Resources Department

Sonoma County Public Defender Investigators’ Association (SCPDIA)

<p>2018 Labor Negotiations Update</p>

Published: February 08, 2018

Before the October 2017 wildfires, the County and the labor unions were preparing to start bargaining for successor labor agreements.  In the wake of the fires, the County’s labor unions recognized that the fires shifted the County’s priorities to helping the community recover.  The majority of the unions formed a coalition recognizing that a short term extension of their agreements could assist the County in maintaining their focus on recovery.  The County appreciates the Coalition’s efforts to broker an extension of the labor agreements.  Unfortunately, after two meetings between the Coalition and the County, the parties were unable to agree to terms for the extension.

While the County and the Coalition agree that extending the labor agreements for 12 months is necessary given the fiscal uncertainty surrounding the wild fires, the County is not in a position to grant a 2% cost of living salary increase.  Because there is still so much fiscal uncertainty, the County could not, in good conscience, agree to more financial risk that could result in reductions in services, employee layoffs, and use of reserves to fund ongoing increased operating costs.

The County recognizes there is pressure on our employees due to the increased cost of living in our community.  The County asked the labor coalitions to accept maintaining salaries and benefits at present levels for 12 months to allow the County more time to fully assess and plan around the fiscal impacts.  Additionally, as a show of good faith, the County was willing to absorb upcoming increased costs to medical premiums to ensure that employees would not experience increases in their out of pocket costs for medical insurance.  The County also asked labor to consider contract language edits that would allow the County to address medical benefit inequities with other employee groups without impacting current level of benefits.

The County wishes to thank its labor representatives for engaging in coalition discussions and it looks forward to continuing discussions with the individual bargaining units going forward.