Tentative Agreement Announced! Summary and Voting
Mar 25, 2020

Contract Agreement Reached!  Summary Below - Voting Schedule at the Bottom

CEMA is pleased to announce we have reached a Tentative Agreement with the County bringing our long negotiations to a close!  We have achieved many of the items we wanted including significant PERS decreases, retro equivalent payments, removal of first day sick, a reduction in medical costs and of course wage increases.  All of our efforts were aimed to provide for you and your families economic security during this Covid19 crisis and beyond.  

Your CEMA Negotiations Team, Staff and Executive Board unanimously recommend a YES vote to this contract.  

As members you are also to thank.  Every step of the way in this bargaining process including strikes, a cascade of fires and power outages and now a pandemic - through it all - YOU the CEMA members - have stepped up and ably served the residents of our county.  This contract reflects your work and the high esteem the Board of Supervisors and County holds each of you.  The substantial economics of this contract means you can be proud to vote YES.  

As for details - below you will see the summary of changes which will be followed with the actual contract language posted to our website.  Also included at the end is the voting schedule.  

Together we can bring our contract to a successful conclusion that prepares us for the next 5 years.  CEMA looks forward to your support in authorizing this contract and as always thank you for your activism!    

Summary of Changes

CEMA members, this is a summary of changes for CEMA’s tentative agreement on its 2019-2024 contract.  This summary of changes represents nine months of bargaining by CEMA’s negotiating team.  The negotiating team and CEMA’s executive board unanimously support the tentative agreement and recommend ratification.

Final contract language will be released soon for members to read.  The negotiating team hopes this summary is helpful and easier to read than the contract language is.  One of the goals we were not able to achieve this contract cycle was to do a complete rewrite of the contract to put it in understandable, layperson terminology.  Unfortunately, given the need to resolve the contract quickly due to the Covid19 crisis this fell by the wayside.

This summary changes describes each part of the tentative agreement in a more digestible way so that you can review the changes and formulate any questions you may have for the upcoming CEMA live streams where the negotiating team and reps will be answering questions.

Items achieved in the last month(ish) of bargaining are in red. 

CEMA Proposed Items

Major Issues:

1)     Contract Signing Bonus

This one-time bonus is not retro pay but is a recognition of the time CEMA has been without a contract.  Previously we discussed a flat rate signing bonus with members at site meetings as a way to capture savings to the County from the protracted period off contract.  General feedback from members was to find something that matches the bonus closer to salary.  As a result, the negotiating team landed on three salary tiers with a lump sum payment based off the middle of the range.  This solution worked advantageously for the CEMA unit and resulted in substantially more money for CEMA in total than retroactivity would have.

Bottom Hourly Rate

Top Hourly Rate

Lump Sum Payment

Tier 1

Lowest Rate



Tier 2




Tier 3


Top rate



2)     PERS reductions


CEMA will see the following PERS contribution reductions:

Classic Miscellaneous and Safety: 3% upon signing, 2% in year two.

PEPRA Miscellaneous and Safety: 3% upon signing, 2.25% in year two.

This will align CEMA’s classic miscellaneous members with most other County employees and will reduce PEPRA to making the same contribution as classic instead of the higher amount they currently pay.  In addition, CEMA will not have to pay back the self-funded wage increases our positions received when we accepted the higher pension contribution.


3)     First Day Sick

Removal of First Day Sick!  The First Day Sick section will be struck and there will not be a reversal of the four days moved from sick to STO that initially accompanied the First Day Sick implementation.  In addition, we have increased the number of days employees can call in sick and still cash out 80 hours of STO.  Under the current language, 0 hours of sick used means you can cash out 80 hours of STO and less than 16 hours of sick means you can cash out 40.  Under the new language, you can take 24 or less hours of STO and then choose to cash out either 40 or 80.  This improved language was not achieved by other units that removed first day sick this contract cycle.

4)     General Wage Increase


CEMA will see the following wage increases:

Upon Signing:               3%

Pay Period 20/14:         3%

Pay Period 21/14:         3%

Pay Period 22/14:         3%

Pay Period 23/14:         3%

3% per year was the expectation set by the board of supervisors for wage increases for units this negotiation cycle and no units have deviated from it yet.  CEMA was able to significantly increase the benefit to our members by capturing money elsewhere, largely on pension reduction but also realignments and other contract enhancements.

5)     License Reimbursement

Removal of the unit wide cap on license reimbursement and removal of the specified list of classifications.  If you have a mandated license, it gets reimbursed.

6)     Professional Development/Tuition Reimbursement

Increase the available funds for CEMA from $200,000 to $350,000 and double the individual draws from $1500 to $3000.

7)     Class Study Process

A new class study process that gives CEMA the ability to expedite 30 classification studies (which assess, compaction, appropriate classification, market rate, etc.) per year with a guaranteed completion within a year.  This has been a longstanding issue for CEMA; members will know that the process can take up to 3 years.  As part of the new process, members will be required to submit class studies in March (starting 2021) so that the determination of which studies will be expedited can be made.  A committee of CEMA members and ESA representatives will be formed prior to make these decisions.  Non expedited studies can still be accepted for study.


8)     Public Notary Differential

A $60 biweekly differential for CEMA members who function as Public Notaries for the County.


9)     Career Incentive Program Differential

This is a differential earned by Public Defender Investigators which our CEMA Supervising Public Defender Investigators do not receive and which significantly contributes to loss of pay upon promotion.  Our members will now receive the differential as well.

Basic: 2.5% of base salary; 

Intermediate: 5% of base salary; 

Advanced: 7.5% of base salary. 

10)  24 hour pay

24 hour pay was improved in two ways.  First, the limit on only 10 days per pay period being paid was removed, now members assigned for an entire pay period will be paid for the full 14 days.  Second, this differential is now required to be authorized and given to the employee prior to assignment of the duties.  Often CEMA found that members would perform the duties for moths while awaiting approval.

11)  Bilingual Pay

Bilingual pay is being increased from $150 to $200 per month.

12)  Nursing Realignment Language

The nursing realignment section is now improved and will clearly apply to all new or successor nursing classifications.  Previously this was an issue and worry for nurses going through the reclassification process.

13)  Evening/Night shift differential 

Increases to the evening shift differential from $212 to $250 biweekly and night shift differential from $264 to $300.  In addition, the limit to number of employees in eligible classifications has been removed.  The differential will now be given based on assignment.

14)  Uniform Allowance

Improved language to qualify affected classifications and two tiers set at $550 and $850 for qualifying members.

15)  Realignments

A number of CEMA classifications will be seeing individual realignments in year one of the contract.  In general, these will be classifications with impact from SEIU’s larger realignments and classifications which previously submitted their compaction data in CEMA surveys.  The final list was the result of substantial haggling and bargaining with the County’s negotiators.

The amount of money in this pool represents a bit under 1% of salary for the CEMA unit.  The team was able to capture this increase in the final weeks of negotiations after the Covid19 crisis was already underway and additional pension increase was unlikely.  Individual realignments were not a goal from the beginning for the team, but given the circumstances it became the avenue to capture more money for the CEMA unit.


Election Process Supv II 



Clinical Nutrtition Svcs Mgr 



Health Center Manager 



Probation Division Manager 



Public Health Nurse Mgr I 



Public Health Nurse Mgr II 



Chief Psychologist 



Dir of Therapy Services 



Latent Fingerprint Exam Supv 



Fingerprint Identification Dir 



Therapy Services Program Mgr 



Mapping &  I. D. Supervisor 



Supv Diagnostic Imag Tech 



Sterile Processing Manager 



Admin Services Mgr I 



Admin Services Mgr II 



Mental Health Prog Spec II 



Program Manager III 



Program Mgr I 



Program Mgr II 



Program Mgr II-U 



Program Mgr I-U 



Supv Health Services Rep II 



Admin Support Officer I 



Admin Support Officer IIi 



Admin Support Officer III 



Health Planning Spec III 



Supv Clerk 



Supv Patient Business Sv Clk 



Supv Assessment Clerk 



Supv Account Clerk II 



Supv Account Clerk I 



Telecomm/Facilities Mgr-SCVHHS 



Fleet Operations Manager 



Mgmt Analyst 



Mgmt Analyst-U 



Fleet Mgr 



Road Operations Superintendent 



Sr Mgmt Analyst 



Chief Radiation Therapist 



Sr Mgmt Analyst-U 



Supv Probation Counselor 



Social Services Prg Mgr III 



Social Services Prg Mgr II 



Social Services Prg Mgr I 



Supv, Hlth Info Mgmt Svcs 



Fleet Maintenance Supervisor 



Chief Communications Disp 



Supv Communications Dispatcher 



Supv Respiratory Care Practnr 



Supv Protective Svcs Officer 



Supv Environmental Health Spec 



Janitor Supervisor 



Janitor Supervisor-U 



Asst Chief of Assessment Standards 



Asst. Chief Appraiser 



Asst Chief Auditor-Appraiser 


Minor Issues:


  1. Union Copy of Discipline: CEMA will be provided a copy of disciplines when they are given to members.  
  2. Contractor language: improved language to address and limit use of contractors doin CEMA work.
  3. Temporary Assignment Differential (TARD) changed to Work Out of Class (WOOC): for obvious reasons.
  4. Performance Appraisal Process: Further limits and safeguards ensuring use of the agreed upon process.
  5. ATO language: Administrative Time Off was brought into the contract with improved language that excludes unit wide exclusions other than for temporary reasons and requires a legitimate business reason to be provided for any individual denial.
  6. Paid Administrative Leave: Restrictions upon paid admin leave to help facilitate return to work.
  7. Updated Arbitrator List: We’ve updated the list of agreed upon arbitrators.
  8. CEMA E-mail communication: standardized protocol for official receipt of documents by CEMA.


County Proposed Items

1)     Benefits Update

This County proposal was designed to align all unions on the same benefits premiums.  The result for CEMA is a benefit to most of our members.  Premium costs will be reduced for all plans other than single-person Kaiser.  However, single-person Kaiser is no longer free to employees, it will have $6.73 premium per pay period.  In addition, the amount is specified in the contract and we have eliminated the automatic increases.  This change is a significant benefit to CEMA as a whole.

2)     Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) Increase

OPEB contributions will increase by $1.50 per pay period.

3)     Compaction Language Removal

The County prioritized removal of section 2.7 compaction.  CEMA has found the language frequently ineffectual.  We conceded removal of this section for movement elsewhere but incorporated a review of compaction into the new class study process.

4)     No Strike/No Lockout Language

CEMA’s contract was unique in that it does not have no strike/no lockout language.  This does not abridge CEMA’s ability to strike after the contract negotiation process as is normal, it does prevent CEMA from striking during the term of a contract.

5)     Retiree Medical Reopener

There will be a reopener in year three of the contract to discuss County proposals on changes to retiree medical.

Voting Schedule, Live Town Halls to Review 

As dues paying members YOU get to vote on your contract.  Due to the unprecedented Covid19 crisis and shelter in place orders from the Public Health Officer and Governor our traditional voting in person traditions have been suspended by force of law.  That means you will be voting electronically by unique token ballot.  It also means you will be voting on two things:

1) Changing the CEMA bylaws to allow for Electronic Voting AND Waiving the normal 30 day bylaw change notice

2) Voting on the Contract itself

Voting Schedule.

Electronic Voting on the contract and on the bylaws revision will be open as below:

12pm Friday March 28th, 2020 - voting opens - unique ID tokens are emailed to members

12pm April 5th, 2020 - voting closes.  CEMA Board and Negottiation Team will verify the ballots received and unique tokens used in comparison with membership list.  

April 5th, 2020 end of day - vote results announced to membership. 

Anyone experiencing issues with receiving the voting material, needing to update your email or voting related issues contact:

vote@sccema.org for assistance

In addition, the CEMA Negotiations Team will host two (2) live Zoom meetings to field questions from members. The first, prior to voting, will take place on Thursday, March 27th at 3pm and the second will take place during the voting period, on Tuesday, March 31st at noon. A link will be shared soon, and sent to every member. Please download the Zoom app for your convenience. 

We also ask that you take the opportunity now to ensure that CEMA has your most up to date contact information, including both your work and personal email, as the vote will be through electronic means. 

Please feel free to share this information with your coworkers. A Membership application form is attached to this email and can also be found on the CEMA website.