I know this is not the news folks would like to hear, it’s not the news I want to give, but the state has cancelled Mondays bargaining session. I was told the state is still not ready with a comp offer. I do not know what the issue is. It is an internal manner on their side and we are not privy to that information.
Our next meeting is scheduled for May 29th.
I know that many of you are hoping to hear good news on bargaining. Going into yesterday’s meeting we had originally expected to hear a financial offer from the state. I had been informed a few days prior that the state was not ready to make that offer. Again, the only offer the state has given financially to date is 2% and 2%.
The April 30th meeting dealt entirely with our working conditions, the former section 7 policies. In 2015, before I was part of the union leadership, the management team decided that they wanted to renegotiate the Section 7’s. They wiped them out of the policy manual where they had been placed by Administrator Van Sistine almost 30 years ago. This was done to make them easy to find by labor and management. It was forward thinking.
Up until yesterday, management had not provided any counters to these policies since I provided our first language offer on the issue. Make no mistake, these are MANDATORY subjects of collective bargaining that are outlined in the State Employment Relations Act. In addition, they are also outlined as subjects to bargain for locally in our CBA.
Without going into too much detail, the state gave us counters on the 5 local agreements that we offered at the end of March. Three of the five were not horrible. One needs some work. One is downright horrible. In the law enforcement contracts I have read since being elected by you to be on the bargaining team I have not come across anything even remotely as bad. I think Glen summed it up best when he told the command staff, “If this gets out to the membership before Division Update, the only reason you will walk out of the room without being tarred and feathered is because they didn’t bring tar or feathers with them.”
Last week at labor/management we were asked why they are not being asked questions at in-service. They say that they would very much like to have people asking questions. There are any number of things that management can do to make the agency a prime place to work. We bring these points up relentlessly in our meetings with them. They do not seem to believe that the schedule we have is an issue at all. If you feel that is an issue you would like to have addressed, ask about it. Whatever your issue is, bring it up and say why you would think it would be a good thing. Especially, if you believe it would improve recruitment and retention for the agency.