Preparing for MEA Membership’s Ratification Vote – Additional Information Regarding the 4-Year Tentative Agreement
As MEA announced by e-blast on October 6, MEA has reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the City on a new 4-year contract which would begin next July 1st. Another copy of this e-blast is attached with a general overview of the TA terms.
The membership’s ratification vote on this TA will be conducted this Thursday, October 15 at various locations throughout the City.
For more details and information regarding the vote, please see the attached “2015 Ratification Vote Info.” document. MEA staff and members of MEA’s Negotiating Team will be on hand at these locations to answer any questions you may have before casting your vote.
In the meantime, please call (619-264-6632) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) MEA with any questions or feedback you may have before the 15th.
Many of you may have questions similar to the ones other MEA members have already asked – so here are the answers:
1. Where can I get a copy of the actual Tentative Agreement?
A signed copy of the TA is attached to this e-blast.
2. Thanks for the new parental leave benefit. . . where can I get more information about it?
The draft Administrative Regulation related to the new Parental Leave Benefit is attached to this e-blast. MEA and the City are still fine-tuning the language of this draft A.R. but the essential, beneficial terms of this first-ever paid parental leave benefit will remain as we have agreed in this TA.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of this new benefit: A full-time MEA-represented employee will be entitled to take 160 hours of paid leave [120 hours for three-quarter time employees and 80 hours for half-time employees] once per rolling 12-month period calculated from the date of an eligible event – i.e., the birth or placement of a child in which the employee becomes a parent of that child. The child may be biological, adopted, or a foster child, a stepchild, or a legal ward who is either under 18 years old or has a mental or physical disability and is incapable of self-care.
3. What is going on with Managed Competition in this Tentative Agreement?
The City has not initiated a “Managed Competition” since 2012. Recently, the Mayor and City Council discussed potential changes to the Managed Competition process (known as “The Managed Competition Guide”), but no formal proposal has yet been presented to MEA. If and when the City does make such a proposal, MEA has agreed in this TA that it will meet and confer in good faith about such a proposal. MEA has not obligated itself to agree with the City on any proposed changes to the process and, of course, ultimately MEA’s agreement and the City Council’s approval will be needed for any proposed changes to be implemented.
4. Thanks for the salary increases in the last two years of the 4-year deal but why are there no salary increases before 2018 when they are really needed/deserved?
This contract, if ratified by the members, will begin on July 1, 2016 and includes $3,150 more in Flex dollars over the first two years. In addition, the 24 hours of discretionary leave each year, tuition reimbursement increases, parking subsidy increases, uniform allowance increases, a paid parental leave benefit, and everything else included in the tentative agreement will also take effect on July 1, 2016.
The reason the salary increases do not take effect until July 1, 2018 is because San Diego voters passed Proposition B in 2012 which amended the City Charter to PROHIBIT across-the-board increases in pensionable pay before that date – “pensionable pay” means any and all forms of compensation which would raise the amount of your pension/401k allowance when you retire or enter DROP – for example, general salary increases, special salary increases, special assignment pay, or certification pay.
No City bargaining unit, including sworn police officers, will get a pensionable pay increase before July 1, 2018, regardless of merit, the increased costs of living in San Diego, or documented recruitment/retention problems for a particular job classifications. There is nothing MEA can do about the legal and political reality of Prop B – though MEA took the lead in challenging the legality of Prop B in court and before the Public Employment Relations Board where the case is still pending. In the meantime, Prop B is the law of the land and every City bargaining group has to work around it. The “work around” means that any compensation increase we bargain before July 1, 2018, has to be “non-pensionable.” Increases in Flex, for example, are “non-pensionable” but still put real money into the pockets of employees, just as the $1,180 increase in Flex did on July 1 of this year for all MEA-represented employees.
MEA would much rather be bringing you a TA with pensionable pay increases on July 1st next year instead of July 1st 2018. The law, however, precludes that outcome and so we have achieved the next best outcome under the circumstances – delivering other forms of meaningful economic improvements for MEA-represented employees before July 1st 2018 – and well-deserved (and long overdue) salary increases on the very first day the law permits.
5. I see a number of Special Salary Adjustments will take effect on July 1, 2018, but my job classification is not one of them. When compared with other public entities, my job classification is also underpaid and has trouble retaining existing employees and attracting and recruiting new ones. How do we also get a Special Salary Adjustment on July 1, 2018?
MEA fully recognizes that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of job classifications whose total compensation is below market – with real recruitment and retention issues as a result. MEA’s TA expressly spells out a process whereby any Special Salary Adjustment (SSA) recommended by the Civil Service Commission over the next two years – based on recruitment or retention issues or a change in duties – will be discussed by MEA and the Mayor’s Office and, if they are in agreement, recommended to the City Council for approval BEFORE July 1, 2018, which is the first day that any such SSA would be allowed under Prop B.
At MEA’s insistence, the City initiated and will soon complete a “total compensation survey” for more than 100 different general job classifications Citywide. MEA fully expects this data to be very helpful in demonstrating the need for more SSAs effective July 1, 2018. MEA is ready to assist the representatives of any job classification which has the data and the drive to advocate for such an SSA before Personnel and the Civil Service Commission. Getting a favorable recommendation from the Commission will be the first step (but not the only step) in a process that MEA hopes will grow the list of approved SSAs for implementation on July 1, 2018 – the first day the law will allow pensionable pay increases.
6. How will MEA’s current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City change as a result of this TA?
If the TA is ratified, MEA will work with the City to amend MEA’s MOU consistent with the deal points of the TA. A summary of those MOU changes can be found in the attached “Summary of MOU Article Changes.”
MEA Tentative Agreement 2015
Oct. 6 E-Blast Overview of T.A.
2015 Ratification Vote Info.
Draft. A.R. for Parental Leave
Summary of MOU Article Changes