Solano County Health Proposal

Negotiations in Solano County are moving forward. 

A recent deadline for proposals resulted in both sides introducing all issues by Friday, August 7. The Local 21 bargaining team introduced 15 proposals dealing with various matters of compensation, benefits, and working conditions. The County is in a strong economic and budgetary position after a steady recovery from the Great Recession. 
However, the County is seeking two significant takeaways. The first seeks to do away with the employer's requirement to provide a reason for dismissal. Considering the membership's at-will status, doing so would effectively negate a key victory from the first contract campaign: a much valued disciplinary appeals process.
The second takeaway seeks to move away from a percentage contribution by the employer toward employees’ health care. The proposal calls instead for a flat dollar contribution, in addition to language making any increase in costs associated with the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax" in 2018 the employee's responsibility. When asked for a rationale, the County cited "trends" in the Bay Area. 
This second takeaway would fundamentally change the way that health care benefits are paid for in Solano County. Based on Local 21’s experience in Contra Costa County, we also know that it would result in higher health care costs for employees. The Bargaining Team and membership are united in their opposition to health care concessions at a time when it is not only unnecessary, but bad policy, as it would eventually result in recruitment and retention concerns. 
The County introduced its first package proposal during the most recent bargaining session, which took place on August 14. A number of key Union proposals have not been ruled out, the County citing "ongoing evaluation and analysis." However, the insistence on takeaways remains a key concern, and the County's opening wage proposal - 1% each year for two years - means that we still have a way to go. 
Solano County’s next bargaining session will be held on Friday, August 28.