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 contract that affects 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, ex-officio members of MEA’s Executive Committee and MEA General Manager Mike Zucchet, the team “meets and confers” with the City’s authorized representatives to bargain and attempt to reach an agreement on a new labor contract or 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 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.
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 20 MEA members in your bargaining unit on your nominating petition (attached). Completed petitions must be returned to MEA’s office at 9620 Chesapeake Drive, Suite 203 in Kearny Mesa no later than Wednesday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m.
What is the Time Commitment Needed to Serve on the Negotiating Team?
MEA Negotiating Team preparations will begin this December. Formal meetings with the City’s team will begin in January 2012 and continue through April 2012. Over this multi-month process, numerous meetings will occur at various times and days of the week, and many last into the evening hours. 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 will 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 time and work time—and members should only run if they are willing and able to make that commitment. If you are unsure about that commitment, or if you have vacations scheduled during the January-April time period, you may want to wait until next time to run for the team. If you do decide to run for election and 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!
How Long is the Term?
Negotiating Team members are elected to negotiate the upcoming labor contract, then continue to serve during the term of that contract (whether one-year or multi-year). If the need for further “meet and confer” arises during the term of the contract, the team will continue in the role as MEA’s recognized Negotiating Team. The primary responsibility (and time commitment), however, is in the January-April time period when we will negotiate MEA’s MOU.
When Will the Election Be Conducted?
Nominating petitions and ballot statements are due back to MEA by Wednesday, November 9 (see attached). Once the petitions and statements are returned, a ballot for each bargaining unit will be developed. The election will take place on MEA’s website (www.sdmea.org), and voting will be open from November 29 through December 9.
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 beginning on Tuesday, November 29. If you have any questions, or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call MEA at 619-264-6632.