After more than six months of difficult negotiations, the Solano County Executive & Senior Management Chapter of IFPTE Local 21 secured its second contract since joining Local 21. The Board of Supervisors approved the agreement on Tuesday, November 3.
Member ratification took place during the final week of October. Over 97% of voting members cast a ballot in support of the agreement recommended by the L21 Bargaining Team.
The Bargaining Team stood firm during the negotiations, rejecting proposed takeaways on health care and disciplinary action.
All told, the agreement provides base salary increases of six percent (6%) over two years, and contains no takeaways of any kind. It builds on the progress that was made in securing our first contract. Despite the County’s insistence on moving away from a percentage-based health care contribution by the employer in favor of a flat cap — in large part due to concerns around rising health care costs and the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax — the Bargaining Team prevailed that the County’s heavy-handed proposal was the wrong approach.
Other provisions of the agreement include a number of salary realignments meant to provide an incentive to promote into executive and senior management, a requirement that the County reimburse employees for costs associated with continuing education, a doubling of the dollar amount available to all employees for tuition reimbursement, the creation of a joint labor management committee to foster collaborative problem solving while in contract, improvements to sick and bereavement leave, and a variety of other important measures.
Much of the agreement fell into place over the last four weeks, after the previous contract expired. The negotiated wage increase exceeds regional CPI, and reflects an improving regional economy and local job market.