Bargaining Update with County and Court
Jul 23, 2019

CEMA has met with the County for several months now.  We are participating in interest based bargaining, IBB, which is very different from the traditional bargaining that 521 and other County Unions are participating in.  IBB is a process where each side identifies issues, and then collaboratively creates solutions, evaluates the solutions and crafts language for the contract.  This process, while more time intensive, allows CEMA and the County to meet the needs of their respective sides and address the issues in a more collaborative manner.  While we are passionate about representing the needs of our respective sides, the discussions to date have been productive.  This technique of bargaining still allows us to powerfully negotiate the contract and assert member rights through politics, presentations, research and demonstrations away from the table.  

Through surveys, site meetings, e-mail communications and board meetings, our members identified the following issues for us to address in negotiations (not in any particular order):

  • pension parity (reduced contributions),
  • wage increases, 
  • Leave System – removing 1st day sick, combining Sick and Vacation accruals into one bank (PTO),  administrative time off
  • compaction, 
  • longevity pay
  • recruitment, transfer band,
  • contracting out
  • differentials of various types
  • reclassification processes,
  • contract language clean up (grievance, including side letters and department MOUs, etc),
  • improving differential benefits/language (call out rates, bilingual, licensure reimbursement, lock facility, public notary, etc.),
  • Benefits (medical current and retiree),
  • deferred compensation,
  • Tuition/PD reimbursement

While we have been collaboratively working on contract language around non-monetary items, we have started discussions on wage increases and correcting / reducing CEMAs high pension contributions.

For those of you who were able to attend the Board meeting on Tuesday, thank you. We successfully gathered over 80+ CEMA members to attend the board meeting on to highlight the Pers issue and how it impacts not only CEMA members but the County and the community we all serve.

You were instrumental in providing a true visual of the disparity in this issue. 

For those of you unable to attend, we highlighted the difference in our PERS contribution versus 521 contribution. 

For example, 

a CEMA member making $100,000 annually has contributed $80,055 to their PERS over the past 5 years

a SEIU member making the same $100,000 annually has contributed $19,650 over the past 5 years.   

Bottom line is that CEMA members pay 16.011% of their gross salary into PERS.  521 members pay 3.93% FOR THE SAME BENEFIT


Based on the past few meetings, and the rate at which the County is working with 521, we estimate that we will continue negotiations into July and are very interested to see what the County provides to 521.

Moving forward, we are in the process of finalizing our new CEMA website and mobile application that will allow us to provide more up-to-date feedback on processes.  A soon as we go live, I will let you know.   
CONTRACT EXTENSION – CEMA and the County agreed to a Contract Extension signed 6-19-21 through 8-11-19.  This extension includes the 24 Hour On-call Pay side letter and the Supervising Probation Counselor Shift Differential Settlement so these items will continue to be compensated without interruption.   

CEMA Court Negotiations Update
The Court and CEMA have met over the past two months and had productive conversations and concurred in concept to many issues.  Through surveys, site meetings, e-mail communications and board meetings, our members identified the following issues for we are addressing in negotiations:
WagesIncreased leavesExpanded TeleworkStronger Classification Review Process Competitive Posting and HiringExcess Hours / Weekend Work ProtectionReady Pay ExpansionTraining on Non-Core Work HoursDeferred Compensation MatchLead pay harmony (same for all)VRWH Inclusion in ContractKaiser Co-PayEco-Pass and Parking
While this is not an exhaustive list it solidly represents enhancements we are looking to gain.  Presently we are far apart on wages and the table is moving in terms of priorities but progress is solid and a longer term agreement (3+ years) is of interest to the Court and may be of interest to us if the economics are right.  The Governors budget and general court funding is solid and increasing this year so the financial health of the employer is increasing.  Please feel free to ask your CAC negotiations team or rep any questions you have. If contacting your Rep please use the cell number 408.621.5618

Rumors of SEIU County Strike​Many have heard that SEIU and the County are far apart in their negotiations and rolling sickouts are occurring and a strike may be on the horizon.  The CEMA E-Board has met to discuss CEMA’s position on an a possible strike.  At this time CEMA has no position on a line worker strike for several reasons.  Firstly there is no authorization for a legal strike from he South Bay Labor Council, also SEIU has not approached CEMA for support.  Many of our members at the table and observing SEIU’s presentations at the Board of Supervisors will note that SEIU is routinely trashing CEMA managers and supervisors as part of their rhetoric to gain a good contract.  We are those managers and supervisors and our strategy at the Board has been logical and evidence based, not to point to line staff and trash them.  Given these factors CEMA is neutral towards a strike at this time.  If circumstances change or we know of a strike further information will be forthcoming.