Sunday, December 18, 2011 – 10:50 a.m.

The San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association (SEBA) should reconsider and accept a contract offer from county supervisors.

A contract affecting the union’s Specialized Peace Officer Unit representing Probation Corrections Officers, and Welfare Fraud and Coroner Investigators.

Why?

It’s simple. SEBA is in no position to do anything else.

The union has somehow found itself with the inability to legally enforce its existing agreements.

A situation that doesn’t bode well for the rank and file membership.

A puzzling situation that may take some analysis to reconcile.

Furthermore, the group has lost all political clout. Something not seen since the mid-1990’s.

SEBA, for some period of time, had the ability to reach an amicable  compromise for it’s members.

But it’s repeatedly blew that chance. And now they face a bulldozer.

A previous agreement on retirement benefits for probation employees is now worthless, along with a clause protecting existing benefits for one year after a contract expires.

SEBA now faces negotiations for both of it’s safety units. The highest cost bargaining units on an overall basis.

The Safety Units consist of Sheriff’s Deputies and District Attorney Investigators.

County management intends to secure the bulk of its sought-out budget savings from these two gems.

The union’s lackluster stances provides a wide-open door for the county to take advantage.

The group abdicated its political clout long ago and now faces a board of supervisors with a 3-2 majority that could care less what they think.

County employees should absolutely pay more towards their pensions. But it’s likely they’ll pay even more elsewhere.