Your Chance to Make a Change

Volume 3 / Issue 10

Mission Statement

To provide quality service to the REAP members with integrity and respect, understanding the member is the priority.

Remember when SEIU posted this on their web site?

Riverside County Bargaining Update: Settlement Agreement Reached!

5:58 PM – February 9, 2012 | 121 Comments

UPDATE: Ballots have reached member’s homes this week. Please follow the instructions included to ensure your ballot is valid. Ballots must be received at the Riverside SEIU 721 office by Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. Counting will take place on March 1.

How about this one from the Press Enterprise?

Were you one of the few who agreed with it or one of the many who opposed? Were you one of SEIU’s supporters? I was…and so were most of REAP’s Executive Board. I, along with 2000 of my fellow county employees, walked around the County Administrative Center in support of SEIU for a better contract. So why the 180⁰ turn?

In the months to follow, we had the opportunity to dissect what this contract actually meant. For those employees who were at the highest step, a $2000.00 bonus was the answer to step and wage increases. For those not topped out, it was a mixed bag of incentives including some COLA’s and single step increases. I think Martin Baxter summed it up pretty well when he offered this response on the SEIU website:

Martin Baxter | February 21, 2012 5:48 PM | Reply

SEIU deal means no GROSS pay increase for anyone until July 2014 and some 2016.

I don’t like the SEIU deal. Its not an increase to our NET pay. I can put it into excell to show you if you want. My rough calculations show it will take until July 2014 to make more than before the 3% taken for retirement last month. Factor in that we’ve had no COLA or step increase since 2008 and that makes 6 Years WITH NO INCREASE? Come on!

2012-2016 over the 5 years of the deal I will only earn $6000 more than if pay stayed the same as 2011. That’s only average $1200 a year. That’s 1.87% total increase in 5 years OR 0.37% A YEAR…BASICALLY 0 . Factoring in that our pay also includes $7000 for flex and increase is even lower. Subtract out my furlough $ from 2009 and it is nearly exactly equal. Im sure the county knows that it is all equal! So basically no pay raise from 2008 to 2016. So I will be even money in 2016 as if my 2008 wages had not changed in 8 years because we absorb the retirement contribution. Factor in INFLATION and we are -16% in purchasing power of our pay if there was 2% inflation each year (14.4% increase for 6 years 2006-2011). Plus take out higher insurance premiums from 2008-2011. It may literally be 10 years, 2018 until net take home pay is the same.

I’m at the top step so I’m only getting 2 steps in my calculations. If you aren’t at the top you are allowed 2 step increases in July 2014 until December 2016 which means you would add 4 steps if you annual anniversary was before July and 6 steps if after July. So 6 steps max is 16.5% more that I am not calculating. That basically is cancelled out by the inflation estimate of 16% noted above. You are making even money from 2008-2016 and going backwards if you factor in medical insurance increases from 2008-2011.”

Read all the comments from members and responses from SEIU here. Read the post after Martin’s also. Why does SEIU sensor your comments?

REAP 19510 Van Buren Blvd. F3-197 Riverside, CA 92508 951-202-8058 / 951-858-6759 http://reap4us.org/ reap4us@hotmail.com

In the last contract negotiations, LIUNA faired far better than SEIU. A whopping 27% increase to our 5%. What did LIUNA do to get such a sweetheart of a deal? Simply put – they didn’t use an arrogant, egotistical negotiator. At the very moment SEIU was on strike, LIUNA was signing the exact deal SEIU could’ve had. In fact, LIUNA’s deal was what SEIU had negotiated. Lack of experience, inflated self-worth, and a “damn the torpedo’s” attitude is what sunk our chances. Our opportunity to recover from this trifecta – furloughs, paying into our retirements, and now this contract, would surely doom us…or so it seemed, until employees represented by SEIU received the news that the raises we were sure we had lost until after 2016, would soon go into effect. But why?

Termed out State Assemblyman John Benoit was appointed to the Board of Supervisors by Governor Jerry Brown after the passing of Supervisor Roy Wilson. In an article written on May 21, 2014, Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez was taking aim at a campaign to unseat Supervisor Benoit. In April of 2014, SEIU members suddenly received increases of 5-8% over the next two years. Coincidence? Did SEIU support John Benoit by not supporting V. Manuel Perez? Why wouldn’t SEIU support the Democratic challenger, their basic bread and butter? This is strictly speculation, but merits some thought…

Most people served by County employees value the work all of us doREAP wants to change this persona, but first we must make the necessary changes. REAP will begin the decertification process on June 4th, 2016 by collecting signatures to force an election of who should be our exclusive labor organization.

Recently, SEIU has sent out applications for membership in the mail. How much do you think this cost the members? I hope that everyone who receives this application will take the time to fully read and understand what is written. Just below the signature line to become a dues paying member to SEIU it states: “I further authorize SEIU Local 721 to instruct my employer to deduct and remit to the Union, any dues, fees and general assessments from my paycheck and to adjust the amount of this deduction as may be required to comply with changes in premiums under existing agreements with insurance plans, or to comply with dues schedules and general assessments determined by the Union.” This is a subtle way of letting you know that your dues are subject to change. In June of 2013, the membership handed SEIU a resounding NO vote to a dues increase of 1.5%. When SEIU considered increasing our dues, a simple calculator was created to allow members to see the gradual increase over 5 years. Use the calculator by entering your hourly rate in cell C5. All SEIU represented employees in Riverside County pay a flat rate of $12.00 per pay period. Not all members of SEIU 721, however share in that luxury, some pay a percentage rate of up to 1.5% of their hourly rate. It will require a vote of the members in the Inland Empire to raise your dues rate because the IE is what is known as a legacy local. (See Article 5, Section A) Does the service SEIU provide members of the IE warrant that much of your hard earned dollars? If they are successful in raising the dues rate, remember this – when an increased is earned, you both get a percentage!

Over the past 8 years, working for Riverside County is not what it used to be. The morale is low and the turnover rate is high. This phenomenon is not only happening in Riverside County, but in almost every major city and state across America. In almost every major city across America, SEIU can be found pushing some political agenda, and in some cases, the SEIU affiliates. Is there a connection? If SEIU was truly about the members, why so many decertification’s? Let’s bring that excitement back and make a move in a positive direction. It’s up to all of us to do our part to make working for Riverside County great once again and REAP is the logical choice! We contract with a professional firm that has decertified SEIU over 27 times. The Coachella Valley Water District is the latest to decertify and become an association that is member driven and we can do the same!

We are asking for your help. Please go to our web site and register at http://reap4us.org. You can also checkout what others are saying, and doing, to remove SEIU as their labor organization on our Facebook page…and while you’re there, “Like” our page.

Get involved and become part of the solution!