MEA Negotiating Team Election—Call for Nominations
It is time to elect a new MEA Negotiating Team. This is your opportunity to directly participate in one of the most important activities of MEA—negotiating the contracts that affect your wages, benefits and the overall quality of your work life.
What is the Negotiating Team?
The MEA Negotiating Team is made up of three representatives from each of the four bargaining units that MEA represents. Working with lead MEA negotiator Ann Smith, MEA General Manager Mike Zucchet and ex-officio members of MEA’s Executive Committee, the elected team “meets and confers” with the City’s authorized representatives to bargain and attempt to reach an agreement on MEA’s labor contract (also known as the MOU).
What is a Bargaining Unit?
Jobs within the City are divided into different units that are represented by various labor organizations recognized by the City. MEA represents four units: Administrative Support and Field Service, Supervisory, Technical and Professional. A complete list of classifications (Appendix A from our MOU) that make up each MEA-represented unit is attached.
Who Decides Who Serves as Voting Members of the Negotiating Team?
You do! Negotiating Team members are elected by MEA members in each bargaining unit. The election will be held electronically on MEA’s website in April.
What are the Qualifications Needed to Run?
You must be an MEA member in good standing for one full year, be from a job classification within the unit you wish to represent, have the time to commit to the negotiations process and collect the signatures of 10 MEA members in your bargaining unit on your nominating petition (attached on the upper right). Completed petitions must be returned to MEA’s office at 9620 Chesapeake Drive, Suite 203 in Kearny Mesa no later than Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 12:00 noon.
When Will the Election Be Conducted?
Nominating petitions and ballot statements are due back to MEA by Thursday, March 30 at 12:00 noon (see attached nominating petition for more information). Once the petitions and statements are returned and certified, a ballot for each bargaining unit will be developed. The election will take place in April on MEA’s website (www.sdmea.org).
What is the Time Commitment Needed to Serve on the Negotiating Team?
MEA is currently in the middle of a four-year labor contract with the City. We will not be negotiating a successor contract for a few years. However, there are a few potential “re-opener” events that may take place before then, including the possible resolution of MEA’s Proposition B litigation in the California Appellate Court. Essentially, we want to have a newly elected team in place to cover the potential need for contract re-opener negotiations, as well as for our next round of contract negotiations currently scheduled to begin in 2019.
Given all of that, the time commitment needed by Negotiating Team members is difficult to estimate and has the potential to vary widely from almost nothing for an extended period of time, to numerous meetings over a concentrated period depending on events out of our control.
Once formal negotiations begin, the City provides Negotiating Team members with paid release time from your job in order to participate in the meetings. However, there may also be a considerable amount of personal time (particularly in the evenings) needed to complete the negotiations process. Serving on MEA’s Negotiating Team represents a significant commitment of your time—both personal and work time—and members should only run if they are willing and able to make that commitment. If you do decide to run and get elected to serve on the team, please talk with your co-workers and ask them to support you while you are away from work representing them. After all, our paychecks and benefits are at stake in each negotiation cycle with the City!
Please remember, the strength of MEA depends on the active involvement of members like you! If you wish to run for a seat on the Negotiating Team, we applaud you. If you are unable to serve on the team, please encourage members in your workplace who you think would make a good representative of your interests to run. And please be sure to vote during the voting period in April on MEA’s website. If you have any questions, or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call MEA at 619-264-6632.