Contra Costa steps away from imposing contract

Contra Costa County supervisors on Tuesday extended for one week contentious labor talks with a coalition of its five large public employee unions, putting off a vote to impose a contract. Click here to see full story.

“We have some optimism that we can reach an agreement before the board’s next meeting,” Contra Costa County Administrator David Twa told the board.

The delay came after three hours of emotional public testimony Tuesday from nearly 70 employees who pleaded with the county to return to the bargaining table and help them pay their health insurance costs.

“I live paycheck to paycheck,” said a tearful Cara Moffett, a clerk who makes about $50,000 a year. “I rob Peter to pay Paul every month. I ask that you not impose.”

The county was prepared to declare an impasse and mandate 3.2. percent in across-the-board pay cuts for the coalition’s nearly 4,700 members, almost half of the county’s workforce. Employees would also pay more toward their own pensions.

The concessions would save the county $20 million a year out of a $1.2 billion budget. CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF STORY.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • BGR

    It’s hard to accept that the “savings” of $20M is only 0.1666667 of the 2012 budget. Surely there is room for real cuts, and what on earth could the county be spending the other 99% on that can’t be cut?

    Employees should pay a much large share toward their pensions just like their neighbors do. Complaining about this is ridiculous.

    The union coalition should practice what they preach and accept higher cuts for the “rich” employees making $80,000 or more to help those living “paycheck-to-paycheck” on $50,000.

    That the union coalition that clamors for taxing the rich cannot practice their own philosophy in-house only underscores their hypocrisy.

  • Wendy Lack

    The county continues to play around the edges, avoiding implementation of substantive employee cost-sharing for benefits in order to bring total compensation more in line with that of private sector counterparts. The degree of benefits cost-shifting needed — from the employer to employees — is unlikely to be achieved via an agreement.

    It’s time for the county to get on with it and impose a package that will help its bottom line . . . evidently further negotiations will be futile.

  • Elwood