Tentative agreement in labor dispute; unions aim to ratify

Two weeks after their contract expired, union leaders representing thousands of county workers, from library assistants to Department of Child Support Services staff, have reached a tentative agreement with officials.

The agreement, which came after “marathon” bargaining sessions, was reached about 10 p.m. Thursday, county Director of Human Resources Donna Vaillancourt said.

Both the Service Employees International Union, Local 175, and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 829, plan to recommend the agreement to their 3,500 members for a vote the week of Nov. 27, Vaillancourt said.

The county, at the request of the unions that want to present the plan to their membership personally, released no details of the tentative agreement. Union representatives didn’t return calls for comment Friday.

On Nov. 1, hundreds of county workers rallied outside the public hospital to protest what they called the inequitable health benefits being offered to them under the county’s proposal at the time.

Employees at the time said they wanted to overhaul the contract to provide line workers and management with the same retirement health benefits, as they said was the case in other Bay Area counties.

In addition, union members wanted to end a county policy — also apparently unique in the Bay Area — that ties employee retirement health benefits to the number of unused sick days an employee accrues, essentially capping payments after about five years, said contract negotiator Lance Henderson, an SEIU member who has worked in the county’s child support division for seven years.

Overhauling the system, however, could have caused unforeseen increases in contributions from the county as health care costs increase, wreaking havoc on long-term budgeting and resulted in deficits, according to county Assistant Personnel Director Tim Sullivan.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Changing zoning in San Francisco neighborhoods where single family homes prevail is crucial in the effort to achieve equity. (Shutterstock)
To make SF livable, single-family zoning must be changed

Let’s move to create affordable housing for working class families

Most Read