Friday, April 29, 2011 – 10:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 – 12:17 p.m.

The not-so-bright idea to require all San Bernardino County employee unions to uniformly agree to benefit concessions has blown up in Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux’s face.

Now the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA), the county’s largest union, has joined the powerful San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA) in rejecting the idea of accepting benefit concessions.

The news brings the spectre of layoffs to the forefront of county budget solutions.

Something that needs to be done.

In a letter obtained by dated April 22, 2011, SBPEA President Paula Ready tells county supervisors the union has a contract in-place until 2014, and no thanks.

Devereaux, the former city manager of Ontario, is learning quite rapidly that county and city labor relations is vastly different.

The CEO has angered some of the union boards by making statements directly to them like “You were stupid enough to give up your raises.” or “I wasn’t here when you agreed to this. But you need to give it up.” or “If you don’t give it up now, I’m going to take it from you.”

Devereaux has openly stated he has a 3-2 vote margin on the Board of Supervisors to impose cuts.

The three supes reportedly siding with Devereaux are Chair Josie Gonzales, Gary Ovitt and Janice Rutherford.

Update: Letter author was actaully union President Paula Ready, not Genereal Manager Bob Blough.