Tuesday, December 13, 2011 – 09:25 a.m.

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors appear to be on collision course with the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association (SEBA).

On Tuesday, a majority of county supervisors intend to reject the advisory award by a neutral arbitrator and impose a one-year contract on Probation Corrections Officer, Coroner Investigator and Welfare Fraud Investigator members in the Specialized Peace Officer Unit represented by SEBA.

An illegal act under the expired agreement.

The last contract, which expired at midnight on July 1, 2011, contains the following provision:

TERM

ALL UNITS

“The term of this Memorandum of Understanding shall commence at 12:01 a.m. on June 26, 2008, and this Memorandum shall be fully terminated at 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) on July 1, 2011. If a successor Memorandum of Understanding has not been reached by 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) on July 1, 2011, the terms and conditions of this Memorandum shall be extended for one (1)  year or until a successor Memorandum of Understanding is adopted, whichever is sooner.”

The provision, known as an evergreen clause extends the expired contract for one (1) year.

So in other words, in checking the calendar and using the math of eight-grader, the county can’t do what it plans to do today until 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2012.

Should county supervisors vote to impose today it’s likely SEBA would seek and obtain a temporary restraining order and eventually a preliminary injunction from the Superior Court.

And the county would pay the unions legal fees.

One has to hand it to those crack county negotiators and attorneys on this blunder.

The county is likely to hand over $100,000, or so, in legal fees to the San Bernardino County Public Attorneys Association (SBCPAA), over a litigation it lost, when it tried to tell the union who could represent its members in disciplinary proceedings.

You’d think the county would learn something.

So much for that “My way, or the highway approach” of Chief Exec Greg Devereaux.

It’s an embarrassing display of ineptitude to say the least, and transmits the message that the “We’ll do what we want attitude” still prevails in San Bernardino County Government.

Then again, it’s not their money.