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Ratification Vote on Managed Competition Guide Set for September 21

MEA’s negotiating team has reached a tentative agreement with the City on a managed competition implementation guide. MEA negotiators worked with the City for more than three years before reaching an agreement earlier this summer.

Along the way, MEA successfully litigated an impasse in the negotiations, causing an Administrative Law Judge to find that the City had bargained in bad faith and ordered the City back to the table. The City and MEA resumed talks and essentially started negotiations over based on the Court’s ruling. After another impasse hearing last Fall, the City Council sent the parties back to the negotiating table once again to work out some final details, eventually resulting in the tentative agreement in place today.

Next Tuesday, September 21, all MEA members are asked to vote to ratify that agreement. Your elected negotiating team voted unanimously to recommend your support and “YES” vote on this managed competition guide ratification.

There will be two polling locations open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on Tuesday September 21. One location will be downtown in the Silver Room at the City Concourse. The other will be at MEA’s offices at 9620 Chesapeake Drive, Suite 203 in Kearny Mesa. The City has instructed all supervisors to allow MEA members one hour of release time in order to provide every eligible employee the opportunity to vote.

By way of background, in 2006 San Diego voters approved a “managed competition” ballot initiative that amended the City Charter. Managed competition is the process by which the Mayor can allow private sector companies to compete with City employees for some functions currently performed by the City. The managed competition guidebook provides the explicit steps and processes that must be followed in order to protect both City employees and taxpayers.

Because voters approved the managed competition City Charter amendment in 2006, MEA and City employees do not have the ability to stop managed competition. However, through the negotiations on the managed competition guide, your MEA team has had the ability to influence the “rules of the game” with respect to how, when, and under what conditions managed competition can or cannot be implemented.

The result is a guide that lays out a fair process for implementing what the voters passed in 2006. Critics like Carl DeMaio are already blasting this agreement as “watered down by the unions” and too “one-sided” to allow for the privatization of any City services. Others will argue that the proposed guide opens the door to the outsourcing of thousands of City jobs. Neither extreme is accurate. This guide simply ensures that competitions will be done fairly. And, as demonstrated in other jurisdictions like the County of San Diego, San Diego City employees will win the vast majority of competitions conducted on a level playing field because we are already the most efficient, leanest, most effective providers of City services.

A complete copy of the proposed 53-page guide is attached for your review. MEA staff and negotiating team representatives will be available at the polling locations on the 21st if you have questions or need additional information. As always, please feel free to contact your MEA representative at 619-264-6632 if you have additional questions or would like more information.

Managed Competition Guide