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City’s Supervisors Union Approves Contract Concessions

A 'me, too clause' ensures concessions won't total more than those negotiated by the police

Santa Barbara’s supervisors union voted overwhelmingly Wednesday afternoon to approve salary and benefit concessions with the city, representative Victor Garza said.

Concessions include a 6.5 percent furlough (the group took a 5 percent furlough for the current year), suspension of vacation cash-outs, contributions toward the cafeteria plan and giving up a scheduled pay increase.

The amounts are contingent on the Police Officers Association’s agreement with the city, which has not yet been negotiated. A “me, too clause” ensures that the supervisors’ concessions won’t total more than those of the Police Officers Association.

A 5 percent proposal by the POA was shot down by the City Council last week, and the city’s labor negotiator, Kristy Schmidt, made a counterproposal of 7.5 percent on Tuesday.

While “me, too clauses” are unusual in negotiations, the city’s largest bargaining unit — the general SEIU, Local 620 — also has negotiated for one, Schmidt said.

She said she wasn’t sure whether the clause would refer to police and fire, or just the Police Department.

Therefore, the POA’s concessions most likely would be the maximum for most other negotiations — creating a fiscal incentive for a number higher than 5 percent. “From a negotiator point of view, that is a concern,” Schmidt said.

Sgt. Mike McGrew, president of the POA, called the counterproposal “ridiculous.”

“There’s no reason to give them any more,” he said.

City staff will present a proposed 2011 budget to the City Council on April 20. The budget won’t include labor group concessions since negotiations are ongoing, so City Administrator Jim Armstrong said measures mostly will consist of position cuts

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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