Published: 16 December 2011 09:49 PM

A union representing San Bernardino County public safety employees will vote again on a previously rejected contract as it faces a possible 14 percent pay and benefit cut.

The Specialized Peace Officer unit of the Safety Employees Benefit Association will vote Monday and Tuesday on a two-year contract recommended by an arbitrator, according to the union. Ballots will be counted Wednesday.

If the 380 members of the unit fail to approve the contract by Thursday, the county will impose its last, best offer in which workers would face even more pay and benefit reductions. Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors agreed to impose its final offer on the group if it did not accept the previous offer by that deadline.

Affected employees include coroner’s investigators, probation correctional officers and welfare fraud investigators.

Under the final offer, those employees would see a 7 percent cut in salary and lose a 7 percent county pickup of retirement contributions. The county also would eliminate a flexible benefit plan for medical expenses, reduce the amount of holiday leave the employees can take and no longer allow them to take county vehicles home. Employees who get promotions would get 2.5 percent salary increases instead of 5 percent, under the plan.

The county and the union have been negotiating since February over a new contract. They twice reached tentative agreements that were rejected by the union membership. The parties agreed to nonbinding arbitration in October, but the union membership rejected the arbitrator’s recommendation last month.

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