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Our MCEA Bargaining Team met with management for our fourth bargaining session on February 22. In this session, we proposed contract language that extends important rights and workplace protections, such as Just Cause rights, to temporary employees. We also proposed language to clarify our Discipline and Discharge article to make sure everyone – MCEA-represented employees, HR, and managers – knows the ‘rules of the road’ when it comes to how disciplines work at the county.
We also spent some time in our session explaining to management why we were rejecting a proposal they made that would make it harder for employees to have a say when the county makes changes to our working conditions in the middle of the contract. (Examples of the kinds of changes that could happen in the middle of the contract could include: uniform policies, parking policies, break room changes, requiring drivers licenses for certain positions, COVID-related issues, etc.) Currently, if the county wants to change our working conditions during the life of our contract, we have the right to discuss those changes in our Labor-Management Committee (LMC) before the change goes into effect. Management wants to take away that right, which will make it harder for us to collaboratively work through problems and come up with solutions together. Instead, management is proposing that the only place employees have the right to deal with these kinds of changes is at the bargaining table.
Management initially proposed to eliminate our job-sharing language, but they agreed to retract their proposal after hearing from our bargaining team why we believe keeping the option of job-sharing is good for the county and for employees.
Finally, we came to tentative agreements to maintain current contract language on Articles 22 and 31, and to make some minor updates to Articles 7 and 14. Remember, no changes will go into effect until we have reached tentative agreement on all articles and members of MCEA have voted to accept the final contract.
Our union’s power at the bargaining table comes from the strength and unity of our membership. The more of us who are visibly involved in the effort to win a good contract, the stronger our union’s voice is.
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