County completes new labor deals with three more employee groups
Posted by Seth Conners
According to a press release from the county, at a meeting on Tuesday April 4th, the Inyo County Board of Supervisors approved new salary and benefit packages with three more employee groups: the Inyo County Correctional Officers Association, Non-Represented Employees, and Management Employees.
The deals are similar to agreements reached over the last year with the County’s Law Enforcement Administrators Association, Deputy Sheriffs Association, and Elected Officials Assistants Association. The packages provide for cost of living adjustments of one-percent, one-percent and two-percent over the next three years, and elimination of a sick-leave buy-back program estimated to save the County tens of thousands of dollars a year while preserving employees’ sick leave benefits for illness.
“We did the math and saw the County’s offer was keeping us ahead of inflation since our last contract three years ago,” said Chris Connolly, President of the County’s Deputy Sheriffs Association. “We appreciated being able to get a contract done quickly and keep focused on serving the public.”
Dan Koontz, with Mastagni Holstedt, A.P.C., who represents the Inyo County Correctional Officers Association, as well as the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Inyo County Probation Peace Officers Association, said, “Would we have liked more? Sure we would. But the County’s offers were straightforward and fair.”
At a time when most public agencies have severely reduced employee benefit packages and required more cost-sharing, especially for pension and health insurance costs, the County has been able to maintain these benefits while providing wage increases that keep its workforce ahead of inflation.
“It was an easy negotiation” added Connolly. “Our members feel the County showed us respect and appreciation for the job we do serving the public.”
Today’s Board approvals mean the County has now completed labor negotiations with four of the five employee bargaining groups in the last year. The only remaining labor contract is for employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The County’s offer to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees bargaining team includes the same 4 percent raise over three years accepted by the four other County employee groups and accepts nearly two dozen changes to the existing contract at the union’s request. However, to date, the local union leadership refuses to allow their members to vote on the contract.