OROVILLE, CA - Butte County’s Professional Employee Association (PEA) Chief Negotiator, Steve Allen of UPEC addressed the Board of Supervisors during the public comment portion of their regular meeting last Tuesday.
Allen addressed the board on behalf of the PEA bargaining unit. The PEA represents professionals working for Butte County including Deputy District Attorneys, Nurses, Agricultural Biologists, Physical Therapists as well as other educated and licensed professionals in specialized fields. The group reached impasse with the county during labor negotiations earlier this month. Allen stated that the bargaining unit’s goal was simple – All they are asking for is a fair contract in which its members receive the same 2% salary increase that was given to ALL other bargaining units in the county.
As Allen stated in his comments to the board, “Employees have agreed to pay their share of pension costs just like all other county employees. The county is now starting to offer small salary increases as the local economy strengthens. However, for an unknown reason the County’s bargaining team has refused to grant the same 2% to the Professional Employees Association that it has granted to all other County Employees. At this time, the PEA members are seeking to only be brought back into alignment with the salary schedules of the rest of the county’s bargaining units.”
Allen also requested that the board select two of its members to meet and settle this contract directly with the PEA negotiating team rather than through the county’s contract negotiator Jack Hughes and Human Resource Director Brian Ring.
At the completion of Allen’s comments, the board gave no response. As the Board of supervisors met in closed session to discuss labor negotiations among other items, members of the PEA held an informational picket outside the council chambers. Signs reading the simple statement “Fair Contract Now” were carried by PEA members as the Board of Supervisors adjourned and they left the building. The PEA will be exploring all of its legal alternatives in the near future to continue working for fairness.