On February 14th, the UAPD Bargaining Team signed a Tentative Agreement in Santa Cruz County. Some gains were made and concessions were held to a minimum, which includes protecting the existing retiree health benefit for all bargaining unit members and retirees. All contract changes are summarized below and the exact language can be found here. Questions or comments can be directed towards any Bargaining Team member (Sue Wilson, Dr. Patrick Teverbaugh, Dr. Jeffrey Young). The UAPD Bargaining Team strongly encourages ratification of this contract.
Ratification ballots were mailed to Santa Cruz members on February 17th and are due back February 29th. Call 1-800-622-0909 if you are a Santa Cruz county member and did not receive a ballot.
Term: Contract expires November 11, 2011
To support the County’s efforts to cut costs in a harsh economic climate, the UAPD Bargaining Team agreed to two of the concessions made by all other bargaining units in the county:
(-) Retirement: As soon as administratively possible, the County will implement in our bargaining unit the same second tier pension for future hires that all other County bargaining units have adopted: 2% at 60, based on the average compensation for the final three years. Current employees’ pension benefits will remain unchanged at 2% at 55 based on the single highest year salary. A two-tier pension system is now the norm in most California counties and for State of California employees.
(-) Active Medical: Effective as soon as administratively possible, County contributions towards health care premiums for active employees will be 95%/90%/90% of the 2012 premiums for Blue Shield Net Value. Last year the County’s contributions were calculated as 95%/90%/90% of the premiums for Blue Shield Access+ HMO, a slightly higher cost plan, meaning the County’s contributions were higher. What does this mean in terms of dollars and cents? For example, last year the County contributed $642 towards the monthly cost of health care for a single person, and in 2012 they will contribute $581, a loss of up to $60 per month for the single employee. But those employees who opt for the Blue Shield Net Value plan, for instance, will pay just $30 per month extra, the difference between the cost of that plan ($611) and the County’s new level of contribution ($581).
(+) We protected our members and retirees against a third takeaway:
The UAPD Bargaining Team fought hard to protect the retiree health benefits for our group. The county withdrew its proposal to attach a 20-year longevity schedule to our retiree health benefits. The language in the current contract regarding retiree health remains unchanged.
We expanded the Reimbursement for Licenses and Certificates section of the contract so that those moneys can also be put towards the cost of achieving or maintaining board certifications. Also, these funds will no longer be pro-rated based on hours of employment — all bargaining unit members are now entitled to the full $1400 payment in each two year cycle.
(+) Fair Scheduling
The County agreed to amend the Work Schedule language to state that “assignment of work schedules shall not be arbitrary or capricious.” This language will help the union ensure that both popular and unpopular work schedules are fairly assigned.
(+) Clinical Care Management Committee
We strengthened the language regarding this labor-management committee to make it more adept at handling bargaining unit problems between negotiations.
We updated the contract to reflect slight changes in the laws, rules and numbers surrounding CalPERS, the Family Medical Leave Act, Long Term Disability insurance, and Life Insurance. No person may be covered under two county vision or dental plans at the same time (no cross-coverage).